Upon the rapid slopes of Saggia (next to Taygetos) at a natural balcony over the Lakonian Bay, at the Prosiliaki (Sunny) Inner Mani, there is the picturesque village Drymos or Dryali. Its location is really marvelous!
Today, Drymos is a Municipal District of the Eastern Municipality of Mani. At this municipality belong tower-village Argylias and the settlements Konitsi, Agios Tryfon, Lagadaki. Here, at the rocky coast, the residents of Drymos use to swim. The name of the village comes probably from the word Dryos (oak). At the west side of the village there is a forest with oaks. Up from the village you can see the old village, Palaiohori which is an old ruined settlement of Mani, with ruined towers, churches (of the 13ed century, etc.) and many fountains. According the tradition, at Palaiohori there was the first location of Drymos. That is a tradition which verifies the history of Mani, saying that the old settlements were built upon the mountains because of the pirates. The new village is built recently.
At Palaiohori, there was the old family of Tsilibourdianon that died out. The settlement now belongs to the families of Drymos. We will mention that there is reference to the village Drymos since 1618 (during the negotiations between the Duke of Never and the Maniates).
During the years 1944 – 49, Drymos was depilated of its residents as the old ΤvendettaΥ stirred the blood and one killed the other. The famous captain of EL.AS. Sfakianos (G. Aretakis, from Crete) was killed the village Vagiokladο. They named this village Vagioklado because there are many Vagia (nurse) at the area. The newly-weds or these who want to get married, come here on the mules or donkeys according the tradition.
There are many churches at Drymos (some of them with very old wall-paintings). The big church of the village is Sotiras where there are wall-painting dated since 1878 and a famous bell-tower made by Vasilakos. Most of the churches belong to the families. The big families of the village are: Tzeferakos, Horikis, Ladakakos, Lekkakos, (coming from a big family of Flomohori) Lambrinakos, Karkalis, Bazakos, (Sotiris Bazakos was the President of the village for years), Tsirigotis (this family came from Tsirigo – Kythira). The Mayor of Eastern Mani Mr. Panagiotis Tsirigotis is member of this family.
In our days there are only 30 residents at Drymos, but during the summer the ΤemigratedΥ who love their village come back here. In Athens, they have found a very active association Metamorphose of Sotiras and they contribute a lot to the embellishing of the village. The council of the association is managed by young persons (President is Mr. Stavros Bazakos, Police Officer). They organize a traditional feast on 6 August every year.
There was a primary School at Drymos, 20 years ago. Today they have to go to Flomohori. The most important problem of the village is the water supply. They are still watering by the tanks of the rain-water. There are also some problems with the road.
Finally, I would like to say that, if someone comes at the Inner Mani, it deserves to make a round and visit the two village Drymos and Agrilia, where he can enjoy his coffee at the traditional Kafenio of Mihali Tzeferakou and Eleni Bazakou.
- P. Dimakogiannis