Ioanna Proiou: Ikaria's "Queen of Loom Weaving" Dies at 112

Ioanna Proiou ikaria

Ioanna Proiou, affectionately known as the "Queen of Loom Weaving", passed away on Wednesday at the age of 112.

Active despite her elderly years, Ioanna Proiou worked until a few years ago at a loom workshop in the village of Christos Rachos in Ikaria. At the same time, she also had museum exhibits of textile art.

In recent years, she had been dividing her time between Nea Ionia in Athens and Ikaria.

"I wish you reach my age and know that one needs to set goals in life in order to be able to give content to it," she had said in an interview with ERT.

Ioanna Proiou, born in 1911 in Rahes, Ikaria, was the mother of three children and a grandmother with five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

She was the 12th among thirteen children. And what set her apart early on was her passion and love for life.

In 2020, she spoke to DW about the secrets of longevity.

She was distinguished by the strength of her soul because she managed to overcome all the difficulties that came her way.

"Never give up. To work, to have a good heart. Do not envy anything from the other. Jealousy is a disease," she said.

Her mother was one of the best weavers on the island and taught her the art of weaving from the age of 15, which she did not abandon even during the war. She loved the loom so much that she married late. It was not until the age of 30 that she decided to make a commitment and start a family.

She went through a lot of hardships. With her husband, they traveled all over the Peloponnese... "We reached the Taygetus so that we could live," she said.

In Ikaria, she created the "House of the Loom" and every summer she taught children how to weave. She loved life, especially life in Ikaria.

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