This article considers the events of a three day protest against Italian ru
le on the Greek island of Kalymnos in 1935 for what they can tell us about
the way women's agency is conceptualized in narratives of national history.
Depictions of these events by male and female writers ape contrasted, but
also compared for their shared assumptions that limit women's roles to that
of self-sacrificing mothers or to heroic fighters in a masculine mode. I c
ounterpose these to my own reading of the events, based on recent reformula
tions of the public and domestic domains in feminist ethnography of Greece.
I suggest that such a reading provides "better scripts" by which Kalymnian
women can reclaim tradition as models for action in the present.