Amorgos: Evil eye to protect the tobacco [crop]

Department Archive
Collection SPHS BSA Image Collection
Reference No. BSA SPHS 01/1041.2859
Level Item
Description Film negative, approximately half plate size, an original negative.
Dimensions 14.5 x 9 cm
Place Nisi Amorgos
Dates 1907
Creator Wace, Mr Alan John Bayard
Collection event Dodecanese & Cyclades (Wace & Dawkins) 1906-1907
Scope and Content Part of a collection of images from Wace and Dawkins' travels to the Sporades, Dodecanese and the Cyclades between 1906 and 1907, primarily to collect textiles. The original description in the SPHS register reads: "Amorgos: evil eye to protect tobacco".
Notes Date based on Wace's travels to the Cyclades in 1907 with Dawkins for the primary purpose of collecting textiles. Mentioned in A. French, 'The Greek Embroidery Collecting of Dawkins and Wace' pp. 77-90 in M. Llewellyn Smith et al. 2009 Scholars. Travels, Archives: Greek History and Culture Through the British School at Athens, page 79 note 12 which references Dawkins' unpublished autobiography written in 1950.
Further information Scenes from Modern Greek Life
Historic images often show scenes from modern life. These are not modern in the current sense, but reflect a time they were taken. Some were captured unintentionally, recording an aspect of contemporary activity while composing scenes of other interest such as ancient or historical monuments. However, many were taken with the express purpose of recording folk life, part of a trend in the latter part of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. The process of categorizing these ethnographic scenes of everyday life in image collections reflected contemporary folklore categories: material life (eg. domestic architecture, dress, craft and agricultural production), social life (eg. games, festivals) and spiritual life (eg. superstitions, religious activities).

However, a significant idea encapsulated in these ethnographic images was the 19th-century concept of continuity - relics or survivals - of ancient social life and practices in the present. In Greece, this concept of continuity was notably promoted by the scholar of folklore (laographia), Nikolaos Politis, and held by many British classicists and archaeologists of the time. In fact, the Irish classical scholar, J.P. Mahaffy encapsulated this idea in his 1876 travel book, Rambles and Studies in Greece: "Everywhere the modern Greek town is a mere survival of the old". These survivals were often linked to classical literature, cult and myth by scholars of the Greek world.

It is clear that these images are not simply quaint historical scenes, but they embody principles inherent in the discipline of Hellenic Studies in the recent past.