"MANTELLIDA" ή "MANTELLINA"


From a small age, I heard my beloved grandmother Katerini on the island, Thermia, calling the "daisies" the daisies of the mountain, the wildflowers that bloom this season ("mantellides" in Chorio, "mantellines" are told in Chora).

It always sounded so sweet, this strangely four-sided word that always seemed to me Latin. My suspicion of its Italian origin was also reinforced by the fact that this is the name of the flower in places that were under Venetian occupation (after 1204), eg "mantillides" in Crete, "mantoullides" in Naxos.The answer came by an Italian friend from Venice, Mrs Carla Matacchioni, the mother of a friend of actor Lefteris Eleftherios, and I thank her from the bottom of my heart.

Indeed, the word is Italian. The flower in Italy is called "margherita mantellina" (daisy-carp). "Mantellina" is the name of a short cap (like a bolero or a bert) that originates at least five centuries ago. Obviously, because the "Mantellina" touches her petals down at dawn, thus resembling the cape "mantellina," she took her name from the elegant women's garment.

text by

Giorgis Venetoulias