Cactus Gallery LA
Greek Pagan Folktales: Τα τελώνια/ Telónia (Crete, Samos) by artist Anima ex manus Art Dolls
Mixed media: wire armature, paperclay, polymer clay, vintage and found fabrics and trims, felt. Her arms are poseable and her eyes are glass. Painted with soft pastels, acrylics and watercolors, and sealed with matte and gloss varnish. She is an art doll ornament and has no legs. She has a detachable fabric loop on her shoulders, to display on the wall.
Height: approx. 49 cm/ 19.3 inches
Children that had died before being baptized became “telonia”, little demons with black wings. While flying around, they cursed the priests and threw stones at people passing by. If someone walked by their burial place, especially at midnight, they could hear their cries and see sparkles and fires.
Every time these little demons returned, the mischief caused was relative to the age of the child. In their homestead, they would move things around, like the potty next to the cooking pots, they‘d make a mess in every room and sometimes spread manure among clean clothes. If they found their mother sleeping, they breastfed so hard and so much, until all her milk was consumed; then they fed on her blood.
To get rid of these little demons, their relatives would go to their graves to dig them up, open their chests, pull out their hearts and lungs, and pour boiling hot vinegar inside.