Carya

Gender: Female
Origin Greek
Meaning: “hazelnut.”
(KAR-yuh)

In Greek mythology, this was the name of another girl who was transformed into a tree, (in this case a hazelnut tree), to avoid rape by Apollo.

It is believed that the origins of the figure may have actually been a pre-classical nature goddess who presided over nut trees. The name was later used as an epithet for the goddess Artemis.

Artemis Caryatis is sometimes believed to have gotten this epithet from the town of Karyai, still others contend that Artemis Caryatis was just a merger between the goddess Artemis, and the Carya of the nut-tree myth.

Excavations in Greece have found open air communes that were used for the caryatids, or the priestesses of Carya. The caryatids were used to represent the columns which support the marble porches of the pantheon in Athens.