The funeral of renowned Cypriot traditional singer Kyriacou Pelagia was held in Paralimni on Sunday.

Known as the “voice of the Cypriot countryside”, Pelagia died on Saturday at the age of 86.

Called ‘Mastorissa’ for her unique interpretation of Cypriot folk songs, Pelagia had given another dimension to the genre bringing youth closer to folk music.

Her funeral was held at the Ayios Georgios church in Paralimni, presided by Bishop Vasilios of Constantia and Famagusta after people were allowed to pay their respects between 1pm and 3pm.

Before the start of the funeral procession, musicians sang the traditional Cypriot song “Ta niata”. The eulogy was delivered on behalf of the family by her granddaughter, Solia Pelagia, Deputy Minister of Culture Yiannis

Toumazis on behalf of the President of the Republic, the Mayor of Paralimni Theodoros Pyrillis and Michalis Hadjimichael on behalf of the artists’ community.

Also attending were transport minister Yiannis Karousos, Disy leader Averof Neophytou and other officials.

Referring to her grandmother, Solia Pelagia said: “You kept talking to us about your two great loves. One was the house in Varosha. You left my grandmother with the sorrow of not returning to your home. Your other great love, which you talked to us about constantly, was tradition. You loved music very much. You made us proud and with your melodious voice you left us your songs, a huge cultural heritage. You were loved by many people.”

Toumazis described the singer as “a genuine traditional performer” and “the voice of the Cypriot countryside”.

“Kyriacou Pelagia belongs to the category of people who make use of the natural gifts with which they are endowed, but also what they managed to develop during their lives for the benefit of society,” he added.

The procession from the church to the local cemetery in Paralimni was accompanied by violins and lutes. The funeral costs were borne by the munciipality to honour the late singer.