karyai

the erechtheum, the acropolis, athens, greece.

this sketch shows the famous caryatids, an architectural element that functions as a column but replaces the columnar shaft with a sculpture of a female figure. (the male equivalent are called telamons.) 

caryatids are named after the women of the ancient city of karyai. vitruvius claims that they betrayed athens by siding with persia during wartime and are thus symbolically condemned to bear the weight of buildings on their heads, but others believe that the column capital atop the heads of the women figures are meant to mimic the basket the women of karyai would carry on their heads during their ritual dance to the goddess artemis.