A Special Moment for the Myrmidons at St. Nicholas’s Greek Festival in Baltimore

This was my most special moment at this show, and one of my favorite memories of the Myrmidons. I suspect it always will be. I saw this Lady early on in the show, and I admired her traditional clothing and spry step as she sat front and center watching the young dancers display. She immediately instilled the feeling of Greece herself at the festival. After the Zeus had showered us with what Aristophanes should not be quoted in saying here, I made my way over to her and found the nearest Greek and asked, “Could you translate for me while I ask her if she would allow my picture to be taken? Please tell her that I feel as if it would be reminiscent of Achilles and his Mother, and as a Myrmidon and a Berber, it is entirely special to me to have my picture with her.” I did some brief explaining through my immediately helpful translator (who is the gentleman in the blue shirt you will see in this series) on my ancestry as a North African and what Motherhood means to a Tamazirt, and this Lady was all too happy to fulfill my request. After the pictures were taken, we received warm hugs and kisses from her, sealing the time capsule of remembrance this picture will fast become.

The Myrmidons

What is particularly special about her, is that she is from Karpathos. In particular, she lived during the World War II period, where Karpathian Women were famous for their support of the Greek effort to repel the German assault of their island. While Greek soldiers fought in the mountains, the Karpathian Women would carry immense loads of munitions on their backs, marching long distances up the rocky slopes of the Karpathian landscape, to provide relief and support. In some famous cases, the Women would be pregnant and have to give birth during their long march. They would do so right along their pathways, taking time only to solely deliver their child and wrap the infant up in a bundle, adding this to their load as they continued on their way.

It is safe to say that little to no resistance could have been provided, were it not for the dogged persistence and gallant intrepidity of these great Women.

-Sean Dodds

Photo Credit: Hedy Bach