AEGINA, AIGINA (Island) GREECE
Aegina is known all over the world for the delicious and uniquely tasted "pistachio (nuts) of Aegina". The principal agricultural products of the island are pristachios, olives, figs, wines, almonds.. The people of Aegina are mostly occupied with maritime, commerce activities , tourism and agriculture. Between the famous products of Aegina is her ceramics. The pottery is a well known art in Aegina since the Antiquity and the pots of Aegina are famous.
KEFALLONIA (Island) IONIAN ISLANDS
Cephalonia’s inhabitants are mainly engaged in agriculture, cattle-raising, apiculture, fishing, shipping and tourism.
The island's crops include vineyards and olive trees giving out the raw material for the production of wine and olive oil respectively.
The agricultural production also includes, on a smaller scale, citrus and other fruits and vegetable.
Cattle-raising is equally developed on the island and the dairy products of Cephalonia are of the best quality.
Last but not least, the superb thyme and flower honey produced on the island is used for the preparation of delicious local pastries.
This text (extract) is cited January 2004 from the Assoc. of Local Authorities of Kefalonia & Ithaca tourist pamphlet.
CHIOS (Island) NORTH AEGEAN
For there are several classes both of the people and of those called the notables; for instance classes of the people are, one the farmers, another the class dealing with the arts and crafts, another the commercial classoccupied in buying and selling and another the one occupied with the sea and this is divided into the classes concerned with naval warfare, with trade, with ferrying passengers and with fishing lpar;for each of these classes is extremely numerous in various places, for instance fishermen at Tarentum and Byzantium, navy men at Athens, the mercantile class at Aegina and Chios.
(Aristotle, Politics, 1291b)
AGIOS EFSTRATIOS (Island) NORTH AEGEAN
Almost three hundred people live permanently today on Agios Ephstratios. They are occupied motly with fishing as well as with the breeding of animals and less with agriculture. A large part of the island's land still belongs to the Monasteries of Mount Athos (Megistis Lavras, Dionysus and Karakallou), and is rented to the natives. From the 16th century until the beginning of the decade of 60's, the economy of the island was dependant on the picking of acorns.
The last few years, tourism has begun to develop. Basically, what attracts foreigners is the beautiful and clean sea-shores, the relaxing life-style as well as the fresh fish and the excellent cheese.
This text (extract) is cited May 2003 from the Prefecture of Lesvos & Lemnos Provincial Government tourist pamphlet.
DODEKANISSOS (Island complex) GREECE
The traditional occupations of the inhabitants are farming, animal farming, fishing, sponge diving and trading due to the advantaged position of the islands which lie between Europe, Asia and Africa. For the poorer islands a source of income and therefore development was the monetary exhchange coming from Dodecanese emigrants and shipping.
Today, the main activities of the inhabitants have to do with tourism. However, many of the traditional occupations still survive such as stone masonry, carpentry and ship building and the women have never ceased producing exceptional textiles, knitted handicrafts and embroideries.
(Text: Manolis Makris)
This text (extract) is cited February 2004 from the Dodekanissos Union of Municipalities & Communities pamphlet.
LESVOS (Island) NORTH AEGEAN
Archaeological finds provide evidence that Lesvians have been involved with the arts since the 14th century BC. Owing to the plentiful deposits of clay on the island Pottery, and to a lesser extend the working of copper, flourished Gradually Lesvos became a well-known pottery centre and numerous workshops were established, especially at the areas of Ayiassos and Mandamados. In the workshops various ceramic objects for daily or ornamental use were produced. The decorative motives had their origin in the Byzantine tradition and the beauty of the Lesvian nature. The above small towns (Ayiasos and Mandamados) keep the tradition in pottery to this day and characteristic samples of the art are exhibited at the Folk Art Museums and Folk Collections of the island.
Fretwork also flourished, owing to the abundance of wood mainly from olive and chestnut trees. Fretwork was used in monasteries and churches for the creation of icon screens, iconostases and other objects and in houses (in ?sachnisinia? (wooden balconies), roofs, doors, stairs) and of course in furniture. Even today the wooden chest or ?Kassela? decorates the Lesvian house. In this case too, the decorative motives commonly used echo the Byzantine tradition and nature. Today, the visitor can admire older fretwork items at Folk Art Museums and Folk Collections as well as visit wood carving workshops.
The island was also famous for its weaving: yarns dyed with plant dyes were used to weave colourful textiles in wooden looms. Weaving was an occupation reserved to women. In this case too, it is nature that provides most of the motifs used. The visitor can admire samples of this craft at the Folk Art Collections of the island and also buy unique traditional textiles from various workshops and Women?s Co-operatives at the villages and small towns of Lesvos.
RETHYMNO (Prefecture) CRETE
Remains of the Minoan civilisation, or at least those artefacts,which the archaeological pickaxe has been able to bring to light and which could be preserved, give the most important evidence of the dextrously produced pieces of handicraft, which the Cretans have accomplished and improved since prehistoric times. Traditional techniques and the feeling for aesthetic creation, which have been developed by their ancestors, are flourishing mainly in the villages up to the present day, resulting in pieces of folklore art of amazing quality. In Rethymno a wide variety of handicrafts such as pottery, basket weaving, woodcarving, stone masonry and of course weaving have been kept alive. Sometimes entire villages are occupied with a particular handicraft, which helps to support their income.
Thus, in the village of Margarites (province of Mylopotamos) most of the inhabitants are mainly occupied with the art of pottery. They produce both objects for decoration and everyday use. On a similar line in the village of Alfa the art of traditional stone masonry is still flourishing, due to the beautiful white and relatively soft stone, which is quarried in the area. Since ancient times it has been used as building material, as it offers structural and decorative solutions in architecture. The traditional art of weaving, embroidering and crocheting is still flourishing in the mountain villages of the province of Mylopotamos, in the villages of Anoghia, Zoniana and Livadia as well as in the entire prefecture. Women mainly accomplish these arts in their spare time.
The techniques are passed on from mother to daughter, while the dowry is prepared, that is the girl's entire outfit of clothing and linen, which she takes away with her on the day of her wedding. The traditional materials used for weaving include wool, cotton, flax and silk, which the women themselves process, transform into yarn and then use on the loom. Up to today they often use natural colours from plants and wild flowers to dye the yarn.
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