A documentary about the “mandra system” of Lemnos
Terra Lemnia Project, Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos
On the island of Lemnos, a traditional agricultural management system has been in place for hundreds of years. We call it the mandra system, because it is organized around the Lemnian mandra, the island’s iconic ensemble of farming infrastructures –stables, barns, fenced yards, living and storage spaces, milking and cheese making facilities, the threshing floor, etc. – with its surrounding fields and pastures, all of which are managed by the kehaghias, the traditional farmer – stockbreeder of Lemnos.
The mandra system, a mixed system of crop and livestock farming, has allowed Lemnians to survive for centuries, providing a life of self-sufficiency on the island. The locals continue to maintain very strong bonds with their land and their herds, bonds which are evident in their customs and practices.
This valuable traditional knowledge and practices, which have evolved and adjusted to modern needs, were recorded and submitted for evaluation to the Greek Ministry of Culture during the summer of 2020, to be included in the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The information collected for the mandra system was based on bibliographic and field research conducted by MedINA. Many Lemnians shared their knowledge and experience with us, for which we are extremely grateful. These discussions were recorded and became part of a short documentary on the topic, which will be submitted to the Ministry of Culture to accompany the submitted file.
The activity is supported by Terra Lemnia Project and Anemoessa Association.
This work is part of the Mandra System of Lemnos Island, Greece project, led by the Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (MedINA), which aims to conserve and restore traditional farming landscapes on Lemnos.
First published on the MedINA website.