An Amulet of Greek Earth: Generations of Immigrant Folk Culture
by Helen Papanikolas
Ohio University Press, 2002
Cloth: 978-0-8040-1037-5 | Paper: 978-0-8040-1038-2 | eISBN: 978-0-8040-4007-5

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
The boys and men who left their Greek valley and mountain villages in the early 1900s for America came with amulets their mothers had made for them. Some were miniature sacks attached to a necklace; more often they were merely a square of fabric enclosing the values of their lives: a piece of a holy book or a sliver of the True Cross representing their belief in Greek Orthodoxy; a thyme leaf denoting their wild terrain; a blue bead to ward off the Evil Eye; and a pinch of Greek earth.

In her evocative and meticulously researched book An Amulet of Greek Earth, author Helen Papanikolas explains and examines the vibrant culture these immigrants brought with them to the new world. The Romiosini culture, as it was called, provided the foundation for their new lives and was oftentimes the cause of strife as they passed on their beliefs and traditions to successive generations of Greek Americans.

In the tradition of her fictional accounts of Greek immigrant life, Helen Papanikolas unearths the cultural beliefs and passions that compelled the Greek-American community to make its own way into the broader culture of America. Based on extensive study, personal interviews, and a lifetime of experience, An Amulet of Greek Earth is a revealing and informative chronicle of the immigrant's experience in becoming an American
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY
Helen Papanikolas was the author of several books of fiction and non-fiction, most recently the novel The Time of the Little Black Bird, winner of the Utah Book Award for Fiction.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
    
    
    
    
    
          PART I: ANCIENT LORE AND LOST GREATNESS
    
    1.    The Azure Land 3
    2.    The Byzantine Eagle I3
    3.    Seed in Numbers I9
    4.    Poverty and Communal Celebrations 3I
    5.    Death and Black Flowers 3 9
    6.    Stories for the Poor 42
    
          PART 2: NATIONHOOD AND EXILE
    
    7.    Romiosini, the Beautiful Word 47
    8.    Toward the Unknown 5I
    9.    Leaving the Ships with Fleas 60
    10.   Shoeshine Boys 67
    11.   The Coffeehouse 70
    12.   The Greek American Press 76
    13.   Priests and Apostates 78
    14.   The Midwest and West 88
    15.   Strangers among Strangers 92
    16.   Riding the Rails 98
    17.   The Midwife Magherou IO9
    18.   Men Wanting to See the Sky II3
    19.   Maria Economidhou, Journalist II6
    20.   Picture Brides I22
    21.   Strikes and Strikebreakers 138
    
    
    
    
          PART 3: AMERICANIZATION
    
    22.   Disorder and World War I ISI
    23.   The Ku Klux Klan and the American Legion I58
    24.   The Greek Cult of Success 164
    25.   America Swallows the Young I69
    26.   Refugee Songs for Solace 174
    27.   Straddling Two Cultures I79
    28.   Never a Nickel for a Drink 205
    29.   Archbishop Athenagoras 214
    30.   The End of the Great Immigrant Era 224
    31.   The Lost Native Land 23 8
    32.   Rebels and Pilgrims 245
    33.   Maria Callas: A Lost Childhood 25I
    34.   Anguish in the Confessionals 254
    
          Epilogue: Vestiges of Romiosini 262
    
    
    
    
    
    
    



See other books on: Ethnic identity | Folklore | Folklore & Mythology | Greece | Immigrants
See other titles from Ohio University Press
More to explore: Catholic Church