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Komboloi | Passing Time like a Greek Man of Old Times | Click, Clack, Relax

Updated: Mar 13


George Papadellis | SG Head

with some help from AI

Komboloi (else known as worry beads) is a string of beads that was used by old Greeks (very common during the Rembetiko era) to pass time. It looks a lot like prayer beads, used in many religions, but it has only a recreational scope. It is said that the komboloi relaxes the soul and has a power to control our sadness, because its rhythmic sound affects our thoughts and distracts our mind from our problems. It is like an antidepressant, providing comfort from anxiety and boredom.

Four Komboloi on a Table

Photo by: anonymous, Four Kombologia, CC BY-SA 2.5

Komboloi Meaning (Definition)

There are two meanings for the word. It comes either from the words komvos (=knot) and logion (=collection) or from the words komvos (=knot) and lheo (say).

Komboloi  |  Shiny Greece

How to Make Komboloi Worry Beads

Worry beads, odd in number, can be made from any material, usually from amber resin, jasper, jade, agate and coral. A correct komboloi also includes a head bead, a shield (that separates the threads) and a tassel. The length of the thread is usually like two palms long.

Traditional Komboloi with Greek Flag

Photo by: English: Taken by the uploader, w:es:Usuario:BarcexEspañol: Tomada por w:es:Usuario:Barcex, Greek komboloi, CC BY-SA 3.0

Komboloi How to Use

Komboloi is used for relaxation and time passing, as a sign of social prestige, as a charm for good luck and as a smoking stopper. It can be played quietly or noisily. Men used to play it noisily in the old traditional café (kafenio).

Order a unique komboloi from:

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May 09
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Check out a nice video how to play with it:


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