CYPRECO’s Folk Arts Progam “The Last Kerchief Maker of Cyprus” a Huge Success

CYPRECO Kerchief May 27 '17 Elena & TsekeridesAs part of its ongoing cultural mission of promoting the rich folklore of Cyprus in America, CYPRECO presented with outstanding success a new folk arts program which revived the craft of the famous stamped kerchiefs in Cyprus and also featured the last remaining kerchief maker on the island.

The event which was under the auspices of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York took place on Friday, May 27, 2016 with free admission as a public service at the Stathakion Cultural Center in Astoria, New York before a house of guests comprised by Greek and non-Greek friends of CYPRECO.

The program featured a screening of an original mini-documentary by Cypriot filmmaker Michalis Papapetrou which examined in depth the industry of stamped kerchiefs which thrived in the capital of Cyprus Nicosia during the 18th and 19th centuries and for which Cyprus became very famous in Europe. Furthermore, the documentary recorded the last remaining traditional Kerchief workshop in Cyprus owned by the brothers Dinos and Nikos Kakoulis who inherited it from their late father Kyriakos Kakoulis.

The technique of stamp printed kerchiefs which includes the production of special dyes was very well kept within the family and for these reasons the industry slowly vanished as the artisans slowly passed away. The last traditional kerchief maker of Cyprus Nikos Kakoulis also passed away on May 24, 2004 and along the craft is now considered extinct.

The Consul General of Cyprus, Ambassador Vasilis Philipou was the guest speaker who further talked about the unique industry of stamped kerchiefs in Cyprus and stressed that this vanishing craft has been part of the Cypriot folklore and tradition. Ambassador Philippou also congratulated CYPRECO for its commitment of producing such worthy folk arts programs which contribute to the promotion and preservation of the rich folklore and culture of Cyprus.

Master of Ceremonies was Elena Maroulleti, President of CYPRECO and producer of the event. In her welcoming speech Ms. Maroulleti noted that CYPRECO is fully committed to continuing its cultural and public service mission of providing unique folk arts programs which highlight the rich culture, folk arts and crafts of Cyprus for the benefit of the new generations of Greek Cypriot Americans and of the general audience. Ms. Maroulleti also expressed special thanks to Federation of Hellenic Societies and its President Petros Galatoulas for hosting and supporting the event.

As it was announced, CYPRECO is teaming up once again with AKTINA Productions, Inc., also a New York based non-profit cultural organization for the presentation of a new concert from the acclaimed series, GREEK MUSIC JOURNEY. The concert will take place on Friday, November 4, 2016 at 8:30 p.m. at the Kaye Playhouse theater on 68th Street in Manhattan, New York and it is dedicated to the great rembetika of Greece and will feature the legendary singer Babis Tsertos and his band. Tickets are already on sale and to purchase or for more information please visit, www.aktinafm.com.

Special greetings were also offered by John Pappas, President of the Enosis Lefkariton of America who also represented the Federation of Cypriot American organizations and by Elias Tsekerides, former President of the Federation of Hellenic societies of Greater New York. Both speakers also congratulated CYPRECO for this production which they termed extremely valuable as it gave the audience the opportunity to discover yet another aspect of the rich folk arts and crafts of Cyprus. The event concluded with a reception.

CYPRECO’s production volunteer team included Elena Maroulleti, executive producer who also prepared the English translation for the sub-titles, Tom Stouras, camera, Caroline Ioannou, Production Assistant and Thanasis Tzouvelis, lights, sound and video projection.

This program was made possible in part by Arch Capital Group US, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, Mr. Petros Galatoulas, Astoria Bank, Investors Bank and the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations. Media Sponsors were AKTINA FM and AKTINA TV.