Travel writers always talk about Cyprus as if the Island is some kind of Las Vegas, or Miami Beach, mindless romp through shallow vacation bliss. Well, I suppose it can be that too, if the visitor wants it to be. But, for most travelers, Cyprus can be a little treasure filled jewelry box, or even a lush, artsy craft market – a very large one at that. Here in Cyprus, we’re out of our gourds over arts and crafts, let me explain.
Soft Metal Magic
Copperware, as you might imagine, is an obvious traditional craft in a country were the metal featured prominently throughout history. The discovery of copper on Cyprus made the Island rich, and important super important throughout the Bronze Age .
And today, coppersmiths still make copper pots and kettles, the long-handled pots known as brikki ( in which Cyrus coffe is made)exquisite bracelets, and other wonderful jewelry.
Silverware in Cyprus, is made chiefly in Lefkara, where artisans have a long history of producing cobweb-like filigree work. Fine silver wire is bent into complex designs for bracelets, teaspoons, as well as containers that hold jars of the traditional sweetmeat glyko, and are hung about with half a dozen small pastry forks.
Cyprus Is Out of Its Gourd
Decorative gourds are also a tradition on the Island. Bet, you didn’t know, but the gourd is a vegetable of the marrow family that hangs from a climbing vine, many here in Cyprus adorn the verandas of rural houses. Kolokia ( gourds) come in a range of shapes and sizes and have long been decorated and used for practical purposes by Cypriots. The bottle-shape gourd is the most useful: as a wine carafe, a candlestick, a container for salt or olives and, with its side cut off, as a water ladle.
I have to say, this is so much fun, riding about this lovely Island, sharing her gifts with you. There’s so much Cyprus has to offer. But for now, I’m off to the next hidden Cypriot Gem.
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