Cactus Gallery LA
Greek Pagan Folktales: Το σμερδάκι/ Smerdáki (Perthori, Arkadia) I by artist Anima ex Manus Art Dolls
Mixed media: polymer clay, gauze, wire, armature. His eyes are rose quartz beads. Painted with acrylics and pigments, sealed with matte and gloss varnish. There is a loop on the back of the head, to display on the wall or hang elsewhere. Art doll head ornament.
Height: approx. 19 cm/ 7.5 inches
People say that children who had died before being christened and buried beyond the churchyard walls, turned into “smerdakia”. These are lesser demons, wandered around crying at midnight, teasing the goats and messing up the villagers’ houses and stables. Inside their mouths they have a tiny lit coal. People could make them go away by digging the graves and gathering shoes from the dead, goat horns, hair and tar; they would put everything in a cauldron and start the fire. The smell would be so strong, that even snakes died.