Traditional Professions in


Many primitive crafts remain alive on the island, while they have become obsolete in other parts of Greece. There are still several areas of the island resisting to the invasion of modern technology.

Potters at Thrapsano, Kentri and Margarites mold clay just like the Minoans did thousands years ago. Hundreds of vessels, identical to those found in the Minoan palaces, are still used for storing olive oil, grains and other agricultural products.

Carpenters transform wood into traditional musical instruments, such as the lyre and the lute. Vori, Zaros, Rethymnon, Neapolis and Kritsa are places famous for their long tradition in the manufacture and development of such instruments.

Cobblers in major cities and villages such as Anogia, make the traditional stivania, the resistant Cretan leather boots.

Knife manufacturers in Chania and Heraklion convert steel into the famous Cretan knife, the inseparable companion of each Cretan. Engraved depictions and poems adorn the blades.

Women's cooperatives in all major villages still weave on the loom, reminding of the just as they used to do in Minoan times. Sariki, the Cretan head scarf with fringes resembling tears, symbolizes lamentation for the hardships Crete experienced in the past centuries. The black sariki is worn as a sign of mourning, while the white sariki is worn as a sign of joy during weddings, feasts, births and christenings.

Wood and marble sculptors give life to materials of the Cretan land by carving logs and stones and by manufacturing elaborate works, mainly of ecclesiastical art. Visitors can visit venues exhibiting woodcraft at the villages of Axos and Asteri and marble works at the International Sculpture Symposium in Venerato.

Milopotamos Charcoal kilns

The province Mylopotamos is famous throughout Crete for the production of charcoal. In many villages you will meet the kilns where wood are converted to charcoal with a very tedious process. Originally the cut firewood is stacked to form a hemispherical pile. Because the wood will get burned without flame, the wood should be placed touching each other as much as possible, so as to spread the fire from wood to wood.


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