By: Louk Vreeswijk

Apr 15 2018

Tags: , ,

Category: Europe, Greece

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Focal Length:15.7mm
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τάματα is the Greek word for vows and votive offerings, referring to a popular practice among the faithful of most if not all religions. I have shown and written about this fascinating phenomenon earlier on this blog in a series of posts dedicated to the local Hindu god Golu Devta in Kumaon, India, and the vows and petitions that are addressed to him by hundreds of pilgrims every day.

Here, in the Greek orthodox case, the believers take their vows and appeal to the saints for … anything. The images on the offered metal plates give an indication of what kind of favours are requested: cure of diseases in certain body parts; finding a pretty girl or a nice young man for a happy marriage; becoming pregnant and give birth to a healthy child; and the like.

Tamata may be offered to remind the saints of the petitioner’s request or alternatively to thank them after the request has been fulfilled. I have even seen plates – although not in this Paleochora church – with images of luxurious cars and villas: one can always try, isn’t it? How shamelessly improper though!

Photos of the week: Tamata (ex-votos) in a Greek orthodox church, Paleochora, Aegina, Greece 2013

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