Greeks were always a pious people and in many historical circumstances, religious faith was identified with their national identity. Paying respect but also rewarding the request to the divinity was manifest in the custom of voting offerings. Thus the "tamata" as they were called (meaning I promise to give something) are the evolution of ritualistic elements of the ancient religion of the twelve gods that were incorporated in the formal worship of the Greek orthodox religion. The suffering and the hope that the help of God generates brings about joy for the anticipated "miracle". The faithful promise the fulfilment of the offering and God, responds to the faithful and awaits the "tama" promised.
This custom evolved through the ages and acquired a form: square copper, silver or gold sheets with a masterfully inscribed depiction of the wish. These sheets decorate all the Greek orthodox churches and the faithful hang them on the icons of the miracle-performing saints that they appealed to. These votive offerings were used in the revolution of 1821; there silver was sold to buy bullets to reinforce the struggle. These small offerings that represent on the one hand the power of faith and on the other, the miraculous power of the icons are in most cases works of art as far as their style is concerned and in the context of their intuitive depictions. Traditional silver and gold workshops creating the offerings developed this unique art which has started to lose ground in recent years. Is it perhaps a sign of the times? Has rationality isolated man from his God?