The collection of the Folklore Museum Hayati Ladia consists of about 800 objects, dating between 1870-1960. Most come from Proti and the surrounding area and describe the daily life of pre-industrial society. For the better management of the collection, it was recorded and documented. The objects were assigned a unique tax code and documentation tabs were formed according to the international standards SPECTRUM and CIDOC - ICOM.

Achilles and Daphne Ladia welcome us to their home…


"My name is Achilles, I was born in 1910 in Kiupkioi and I am the youngest son of the Ladia family. In 1935 I married Daphne Nouni and we had 6 daughters. According to customary law I am the heir of the paternal house and in charge of my parents "Vangelis and Vangelis Ladias. We all live together in the house that my father bought from the Muslim Mehmet Kehagia in 1919. The tobacco warehouses in the yard were built in 1925 and were the workplace for me and Daphne for our whole life."


"I am Daphne. In my life I am full of work and children. Together we will see my house, which offered me everything. The tobacco, the vineyard and the grain. My house, which changed with the people, which changed around me. . "
Handwritten note by Achilles Ladias with the dates of birth of the family members.
Photo of Evangelos Ladias
Photo of Evangelia Ladia
The photo shows Achilles with Daphne Ladia, his mother and daughters after the death of his father

Evangelos Ladias

Evangelos Ladias was born in 1870 in the Ottoman Empire, lived as a Christian Ottoman citizen for about forty years. In 1914 he became a Greek citizen of the Hellenic Kingdom and died in 1943 under Bulgarian rule.
Identity card of the Ottoman Empire
Field Sales Document
The will of Evangelos Ladias in 1943, written in the Bulgarian language, during the Bulgarian occupation 1941-1944

The main occupation of the people of the house is tobacco production

In the 20th century the cultivation of tobacco is the dominant agricultural occupation in Proti, Serres and in the villages around Paggaio. The "basmas" variety, one of the most exquisite varieties of world tobacco production, thrives in the lands of the region. The high demand for eastern tobacco and the high commercial price of basma, contribute to the economic prosperity of the region.
The tobacco growing cycle starts in February and ends in October. Family members work non-stop for the common good, without the requirement of a salary. Mutual assistance, after all, is the only way to survive at home. The woman-mother, in addition to the continuous work in the field, is also responsible for the household chores. Older children take care of the younger ones and from pre-adolescence follow their parents in the tobacco fields. Child labor is considered self-evident and part of the education of the child, who leaves school during the months of intensive work. Law 4029 of 1912 "On the work of women and minors" protects the right of children to education and prohibits work before the age of 12, but the customary rule prevails over the law, as does the need for labor. The work of women and children in tobacco growing is of great importance for the economy of the time.
In the summer months when jobs increase and the hands are not enough, the pre-industrial society employs the network of kinship relations. The mahala families exchange labor power as part of mutual aid. When this is not possible or not enough, farm workers are hired. Workers can be permanent on large crops or seasonal on smaller ones, locals without a lot or foreigners moving from non-rural areas.
Baski, a tool for sowing tobacco
Fkeli, soil digger
Hair to remove grass
Imziki, accessory for the watering can, to facilitate watering at the root of small plants
Pair of buckets, open barrels for transporting water to the field with the animal
Coffin for transporting tobacco leaves to the tobacco warehouse from the field
Acetylene lantern
Balling needles
Metal hook
Coffin for transporting tobacco leaves to the tobacco warehouse from the field
Frame, wooden construction that accepts tobacco leaves to become the pastel
Chest, tool for the manufacture, processing and packaging of tobacco
Photo of 1938 taken in Hayati Ladia. Family members and workers from Arnaia smoke

The self-sufficiency of the house

The economy of the pre-industrial age is based on sustainability, reuse and processing. The limited production of products also limits the needs of man, most of which were covered within the house.
In the first of the 20th century, along with tobacco, the "good households" cultivate their cereals and vineyard. So the house always has its flour, bread and wine…
The smaller farmers, who have a few acres, focus exclusively on tobacco growing, which is more profitable.
Iron plow
Milling machine, tool for digging the soil
Sieve for cleaning wheat
Palamaria, Wooden handle used in harvesting to prevent injuries and to create the bundle
Tool for threshing grains with sharp stones
Loafer tool for separating grains from straw
Cans, bread kneading utensil
Pinned wooden mold to inflate the bread dough
Wooden barrel for the fermentation of wine
Rakokazano, tsipouro distillation cauldron

From the loom to the… singer

The loom contributes to ensuring the self-sufficiency of the house of the pre-industrial period. Occupies the brightest room. Girls learn to weave at a young age, the household loom is exclusively a female occupation. In non-existent homes, the dowry is assigned to professional weavers or weavers.
The female tobacco grower does not have time for the loom, the large tobacco growing cycle lasts about ten months and this is a necessary hand. Only in winter can she embroider and weave, channeling her creativity.
Singer Machine

Woven and embroidery.

Products of female creativity.


Photos from the sewing and embroidery schools that were organized in 1950 in Proti. Schoolgirls learn to operate the machine, sing and become seamstresses

School of Housekeeping

The family schools operated from 1944 to 1979. Their purpose was the national development and the religious education of the girls in the outlying areas of the country, after the Bulgarian occupation and the civil war. The girls who left school early went to school for three years, either as full-time or part-time students, attending only a few classes. They taught sewing, handicrafts, weaving, carpet weaving, religion, hygiene and agriculture.
The curriculum was tailored to the model housewife-farmer-mother, but improved the living standards of many women who went on to work as educators, cooks, bankers and provided a solution to the food problem. The school of Proti operated from 1949 until 1956.

The ondoudi

The oud is a versatile room on the ground floor of the house. It is used for cooking, as a living room and on winter nights the children sleep in it because it is warm from the stove or the fireplace.
Pre-industrial society uses natural resources to a limited extent as they are not readily available.

Picture right: wood stove with oven, used for heating and cooking
The living room
The bedroom
Viticulture and its tools
The kitchen
Grandma's loom
Tobacco growing & its tools
The "being" with the meder
The tools of summer
Storage items