Karagiozis, a Character of Greek Folklore

It is sad how newer forms of entertainment are capturing young minds very fast and in the process wiping way old traditional toys. One such toy is Karagiozis – a traditional folk drama depicted with comic puppet figures. The souvenir shops of Athens sell these Karagiozis and are definitely the best gift to take for a child back home. At one of the shops I was fiddling with these forms, when the owner of the shop explained he was a character from their traditional tales which have origin from Byzantine times. That got me interested and I looked up for more details. These reminded me of Kathputli of Rajasthan.

Karagiozis is the main character of the folklore, a humped back fool-hero, he appears in different guises. His right hand is always depicted long, clothes tattered with lots of patchwork and often barefooted. Wiki mentions: He lives in a poor cottage with his wife Aglaia and his three sons, during the times of the Ottoman Empire. Because of his poverty, Karagiozis uses mischievous and crude ways to find money and feed his family. Many more characters have been added to build up the stories.

Hope this fictional character is able to overcome the fascination for modern toys in children. These shots were taken in the streets of Plaka. They cost around 8 to 15 euros depending on size.

Thursday Challenge : Toys

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