Saturday, 14 March 2009

That tree again...


The tree belongs to my fathers and is situated below the Koukoutsaki family aloni - shown in the photo above. An aloni is the circle of ground with a pressed earth or concrete floor used in the past as an area in which to thresh corn or other crops. The land around the tree and around the aloni belongs to my father Antonis; it belonged to his father Eftihis, his father Antonis and to his father, my great-great-grandfather, Giorgos and in time the tree will be passed on to me and then to my grandchildren.

The aloni itself belongs to every Koukoutsakis in the world - they all have the right to crush crops on that aloni although they don’t have any rights to the land.

The olive tree has always had this strange shape. For many years the raki distillery used to be right next to it but then the law became harsher so they had to hide it somewhere not so exposed.

This area was also in the old days a training ground for Koukoutsaki boys because it’s one of the few large, flat areas around that was suitable for target practice and other games were played here as well.

The tree is very old, maybe 600-700 years. A tantra group that was visiting Azogires once claimed that this tree was very sacred; they claimed to have been speaking with it and that the tree had asked for water so they gave it some.

There is also a legend of an old lady once appearing under the tree on a dark evening about 120 years ago scaring the shit out of a Koukoutsaki family famelio who was guarding the crops inside the aloni. He ran away shouting that he’d seen a ghost. To this day we don’t know who she was although she was probably lost and climbed up the hill scaring our Turkish famelio. (A famelio is a man that the family takes in and giving him food, clothes and some money in exchange for work. They also took care of his health and if he died they arranged his funeral and paid for the church service. He became part of the family and although he never got a pension, he would be fed and housed by the family until he died.)

12 comments:

Nog Bad the Improbable said...

So, let me get this straight. A bunch of people in the middle of the Cretan summer - temp up to 40 degrees - sit around chanting at a tree and then come to the conclusion that the tree needs water. What's going to be their next insight...that the Roman Pope's a catholic or possibly that bears do things in woods??

Nog Bad the Improbable said...

A possibility for you to consider: the tree is that shape because it got drunk on the fumes from the raki?

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr.Nog its exactly how you say it only it was not 40degrees it was around 38 .And yes their spiritual master said he felt the pain of the tree after speaking to it and gave it water cause he told him it was thirsty .
Now as for the raki making the tree drunk you must chat with science everything is posible especially in Azogires

Anonymous said...

I bet that tree likes raki its gotta sort of drinking soul shape .

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous every tree in Azogires has an alcoholic problem and yes you can bet your money they have a soul even worse they are alive and kicking everywhere you walk you can feel the energy around you

Anonymous said...

trees are such wonderful things ans if there were none the world would be in trouble bless the trees yassue Lucky regards Lefteris

Mediterranean kiwi said...

amazing story
the aloni is a great place for children to play in

Anonymous said...

you need the love of a good Irish woman lucky to help you swing from them wonderful trees while having a swig of the good old raki !!!!

harribobs said...

A famelio is a man that the family takes in and giving him food,

that would be Martin then ?? :o)

Anonymous said...

An Irish women sounds just fine to me but where is she?? As for Martin HHMMM Yes it would be ????

Anonymous said...

is this martin a german hermit by any chance .

Anonymous said...
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