|Birth:||2 July 1911|
Raches, Icaria, Greece
|Age:||110 years, 109 days|
Ioanna Proiou-Dimitriadou was born in Raches, Icaria, Greece on 2 July 1911. She was the 12th of 13 siblings. Her mother, Efthymia, was born in 1870 and she was from the best weavers of the island. From a very young age, Ioanna, learned to weave. She also learned to use the loom and from the age of 15 she was a professional weaver. Until the age of 30 she didn't want/intend to marry. In 1938 she went for first time to Athens, greek capital, in order to purchase materials, but the war blocked her there. She was married in 1941, in order to have a companion to deal with the ongoing war and the later Axis Occupation. They traveled through all Peloponnese to make a living.
At her 80s, she took the iniatiative to make the House of Loom in Raches, Icaria, as she was willing to see this art to continue flourishing. She still works with the loom and makes a lot of handmade things that she sells in a small shop in Raches. She also likes to make small poems and songs. She has an active presence on cultural efforts and associations both in Icaria and in Nea Ionia, Athens. She is known as "The Lady of the Loom" ("Η Κυρά του Αργαλειού").
Proiou-Dimitriadou has three children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
When asked about what needs to be done for someone to live long she said: "First, do not be jealous. What the other has, what he does not have, do not care. Secondly, may my heart be good inside. To love the whole Universe. I believe in that. I do not believe in god. I believe in nature and its creations. Third, do not be skeptical. Human does not need much to live. The necessary to have suffice. You saw where greed led us. In environmental disasters, in wars and killings. I lived them and I know them. Fourth and most important, be a creator. Eat your bread with the sweat of your brow, as the Gospel says (s.s. she has read it, knows verses by heart even if she does not believe). And of course take care of your body - it carries you... These are. I tell you this and may you have my wish ".
In July 2021, she celebrated her 110th birthday.