Mantinadologoi: Aristides Charetis, by profession a shepherd, said in a recent interview, “I was born to dance and rhyme, and with these matches I light my life.” Yannis Dermitzakis comes from a long line of coupleteers and is considered the last of the greats of the twentieth century. Andreas Papyrakis used to run the tavern “Little Parliament” in Heraklion, Crete, where he entertained his clientele with his lyre and his couplets. Manolis Pasparakis lost his sight at the age of three and earned the nickname “skew-eyed.” His couplets are famous for capturing all the senses but that of sight. Yannis Pavlakis fought in the resistance during the German occupation and spent the latter part of his life studying rhyming couplets and the lives of the coupleteers. Yorgos Vittoros, mayor of the mountain town of Kyparissi, holds open rhyming competitions which he then records for radio and television programs devoted exclusively to Cretan music and dialect.
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