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Anna was born in Heraklion of Crete in 1958 and lived there with her family until 1961.

My father was transferred to Piraeus, which he deemed unfavourable at the time. He never wanted to leave Crete. We packed up and came here knowing but a handful of people. My mother was very young then, she was pregnant with my brother and it was extremely difficult for her to leave from the protected and completely safe environment of her homeland and to move to a place where they had to rent a house, to face a different culture… I think that every migrant faces these difficulties.

During that time, many people in Crete would sell their houses, cut their ties with the island and look for better life conditions in other places. It was a conscious choice to migrate, that is. On the other hand, my family was, in a way, forced to move.

Anna’s family, as she tells us, settled in Kastella for 3 years, until they moved to Moschato, where their only relatives in Athens were living at the time.

They tried to create a rudimentary social network to feel more familiar in their new city. Years passed, my father and my mum would always say that they wanted to return to Crete, where conditions were much better than here, but once they realised that the education offered here was better, they stayed for us, the children. They took the big decision to buy a house. Once you buy a house, you grow roots.

However, every summer, us kids would be at Crete for 3 months. I believe I have two homelands, I was never cut off from the place I was born in. It’s very difficult to merge your current life, your daily life, with the memories and all that is generated by active contact with the past.

This jewellery here is a family heirloom that is passed on from mother to daughter. My mother gave it to me to remind me of my roots, but also that she took it and eventually managed to stand on her feet at this new place they moved in. She told me that wherever my family and I are, that’s where my roots are. This jewellery is an element, a sign, an anchor… wherever you drop anchor, that’s where you stay. It symbolises values that my family had, because it’s a cross. The lucky chain is missing, which was very bulky and my grandmother would give it to her kids to play with it and of course they broke it. And I had the blessing to give it to my daughter. My daughter will give it to her own daughter, because I’m also the girl’s grandmother. On the one hand I know where it will go, I hope, on the other hand, I don’t know where this kids will be growing up, and this is stronger than my question about where the next generations carrying this jewellery will be.

Anna explains that her grandmother was born in 1904 and got it from her own mother, so she estimates that the jewellery was created around 1880.

It’s a traditional Cretan cross, many homes have it, that is. Recently, at Raiment of the Soul, an exhibition at the Acropolis museum, which exhibited photos of traditional costumes, I saw a girl in a traditional costume wearing it. She also had the chain, which is called amprakamos. I imagine that it runs through Crete, because it circulates with different materials and different gems, but the cross is like this.

I am glad to share the jewellery’s story with you and with anyone else interested to hear about it, because I think that jewellery are not a sign of vanity. By wearing them, you can showcase something about yourself.


Creator of object:
Place / Country of creation:
Greece (Crete)
Year / Era of creation:
Anna Migadi – Mavroudi
Type / Description of object:
Necklace (traditional cretan cross)
Object route:
Greece (Crete – Piraeus – Tavros)
Year / Era of movement:
Reason of movement:
License of digital image:


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