The Macedonian Tendency: Cultural Change in Traditional Dances

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Cultural Change in Traditional Dances

Joan Friedberg, has from some reason, become an expert in Macedonian dances in the Florina (aka Lerin) region of Greek Macedonia. She has also written a travel book on Greece which can be purchased at her website. One of the few outsiders who have spent time with Macedonians in Greece. Good work Joan!

Cultural Change in Traditional Dances:

Abstract

Both Slavic-Macedonian and Albanian influences are evident in the musical repertoire in the Florina region of Greece and have contributed to the development of the region’s dances. In particular, the unique 12/8 musical meter, which has possible Albanian roots, has diffused into the musical repertoire and is the meter of the region’s most popular dance, the Pu┼íteno (pronounced 'pooshteno'). A preliminary survey of participatory dances in five Florina villages is used to define the current repertoire and provides evidence of cultural change resulting in the Hellenization of the repertoire.

Introduction

Florina is a border town in the northwest corner of Greece and is also the name for the prefecture. Just 17 kilometers to the north is the border with the Republic of Macedonia. The border with Albania lies about an hour's drive to the west, just beyond Lake Prespa.

Enclaves of Slavic-speaking citizens whose ancestors first settled in this region some 1,400 years ago still inhabit outlying villages. Elements of folklore in the Florina region are the legacy of these Slavs as well as other ethnic groups who have inhabited the region.

At various times during its turbulent history, these native-born citizens have emigrated to Yugoslavia, Canada, Australia and the United States. Many have later returned and brought with them diverse cultural "

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