Liminality, Metaphor and Place in the Farming Landscape of Tinos: The Village of Kampos

Author Information

Maria Vidali,
College Year Athens, Greece

DOI: 10.47298/comela22.1-6
The GLOCAL Proceedings:  The GLOCAL Conference in the Mediterranean and Europe 2022


This research explores the farming landscape and village life in Kampos, a village on the Greek island of Tinos. Tinos is an Aegean island with a long history of agriculture. In Kampos, one of the oldest farming villages of Tinos, boundaries created by low stone walls and alleyways primarily define the farming landscape that permeates village life and its structure. The landscape appears semi-artificial, given the construction of countless rows of cultivation ridges and terraces. Boundaries on the island appear through texts, space, movement and habit, thus creating. a series of liminal spaces. They represent areas – or rather situations – allowing for multiple co-existing levels of interaction, which are both ambiguous and can be transformed through negotiation. Negotiation would not be possible without language and narrative: Language arises through communal metaphors, stories, and fictional beliefs that bind and connect a small community together in a farming landscape, a community that has retained a quality of life closely connected to nature, architecture, and private and public realms, all by exhibiting features that can be found in a contemporary way of living.

Objectified and non-objectifiable boundaries – in relation to the villagers’ land, water, private and public spaces –, their absence, their negotiation, the life that flourishes in-between them, and their relationship to men and women, ownership, and bonding, are important aspects examined in research. The presence, the lack of, and the negotiation of these boundaries, all unfold through fictional stories, narratives and interviews of villagers from Kampos. Through these narratives, I argue that when boundaries are obscure or create an in-between space of negotiation and communication, when they become a liminal space, then a different situation of ownership and bonding arises. Here, the villagers claim their properties’ boundaries, and negotiate these and sometimes fall into conflicts.

Conducting this research, I determined that stories created from the villager’s life, space, and landscape consist of a series of metaphors that define ‘dwelling’ in this part of the world, in this specific landscape, which has a contemporary way of living, but still connected with tradition and the past as an action mimetic of the present.

Keywords: Tinos, boundaries, linguistic anthropology, architecture, Kampos village


Abram, D. (2010). Becoming an Animal: An Earthly Cosmology. New York: Pantheon Books.
Carol, M., R. (1985). Possession as the Origin of Property, The University of Chicago Law Review, 52(1): 73-88.
Crossley, N. (2001). The Social Body. Habit, Identity and Desire. London: Sage Publications.
De Coulanges, F. (1902). The Origin of Property in Land. London: Messrs. George Allen and Company, Ltd.
De Coulanges, F. (1877). The Ancient City: A Study on the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome. Boston: Lee and Shepard.
Dubisch, J. (1993). Foreign Chickens and Other Outsiders: Gender and Community in Greece. American Ethnologist, 20(2): 272-287.
Fish, S. (1980). Is there a Text in This Class? The University of Chicago Law review, 29: 83.
Florakis, E., A. (1971). Τήνος. Λαϊκός Πολιτισμός. Αθήνα.
Foskolos, G., M. (1998). Το Κτηματολόγιο των Εκκλησιών της Τήνου και η Καταγραφή των Λεγάτων τους. Τηνιακά Ανάλεκτα, 3(ΑΚΤ): 4. Εκδόσεις Φιλιππότη, Αθήνα.
Gadamer, H., G. (1976). Philosophical Hermeneutics. E. David, (Ed. and Trans.). Berkley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press.
Georgantopoulos, E. (1885). Τηνιακά, Ήτοι Aρχαία και Νεωτέρα Γεωγραφία και Ιστορία της Νήσου Τήνου. Aθήνα.
Johnson, M. (2007). The Meaning of the Body, Aesthetics of Human Understanding. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
Kearney, R. (1989). Paul Ricoeur and the Hermeneutic Imagination. In T. P. Kemp and D. Rasmussen (Eds), The Narrative Path: The Later Works of Paul Ricoeur. Cambridge, MA, London: The MIT Press.
Kenna, M., E. (1976). Houses, Fields, and Graves: Prosperity and Ritual Obligation on a Greek Island, Ethnology, 15(1): 21.
Langellier, K. and Peterson, E. (2004). Storytelling in Daily Life: Performing Narrative. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Pérez-Gómez, A. (1994). Chora: The Space of Architectural Representation. In Chora 1, Intervals in the Philosophy of Architecture. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Pérez-Gómez,, A. (2016). Attunement, Architectural Meaning after the Crisis of Modern Science. Cambridge, MA, London, England: The MIT Press.
Ricoeur, P. (1996). Architecture and Narrative. In Pietro Derossi (Ed) H. Evans (Trans.) Identity and Difference: Integration and Plurality in Today’s Forms. Cultures Between the Ephemeral and the Lasting: The Triennale in the City, the Imageries of Difference. Milano: Electa.
Ricoeur, P. (2003). The Rule of Metaphor, the Creation of Meaning in Language. London and New York: Routledge Classics.
Rose, C., M. (1985). Possession as the Origin of Property. University of Chicago Law Review, 1.
Sarafi, E., N. (2008). Τήνος, Χάρτες – Ενδυμασίες. Athens: Εκδόσεις Καστανιώτη – Διάττων.
Steinberg, T. (1995). Slide Mountain or the Folly of Owning Nature. Berkley, Los Angeles, London: University California Press.
Zimmerman, P., T. (2008). Liminal Space in Architecture: Threshold and Transition. Master’s Thesis, University of Tennessee.
Cycladikon Fos / Κυκλαδικόν Φώς. (1958). Έτος Θ’, 26 Μαΐου, Αριθ. Φύλλου 104.
Kyrix tis Tinou / Κήρυξ της Τήνου. (1953). Έτος Δ’, 8 Ιουνίου, Πολιτική Εφημερίς των Τοπικών Ζητημάτων, Αριθ. Φύλλου 46.

Full COMELA 2022 Proceedings book