Arts & Crafts
Greeks were always famous for their craftsmanship. Every corner of this land has a story about artisan creations that fed whole families back in the day. Secrets have been passing on from generation to generation for quality to be maintained and for the art or craft to be kept alive. For Greeks this was and still remains their legacy, their inheritance. And it is an honor to keep it going.
Take it from the pottery makers that make beautiful pots, urns, vases and whatever container-shaped object you can imagine.
Have you heard about caique boat making? Greeks were avid captains and most islanders were fishermen. The sea and their boat was their entire life. Traditional caique boat making units are called tarsanas and can be found in Crete and Spetses among many others.
Komboloi, a.k.a worry beads was manipulated with one or two hands by Greeks for centuries. Why? Blame it on the idleness of doing nothing, the ritual that is afternoon coffee accompanied with loukoumi and some komboloi playing. When in Nafplion head to the Komboloi museum and you will found out more.
Many arts&crafts face decadence and rely mostly upon the passion of their creators. Luckily, in recent years new brands have emerged in respect and alliance with Greek tradition, yet with a modern twist. Seek and you will find handmade jewelry, sandals, bags, caftans and espadrilles in great variety and designs- all made with real artistry.
Greeks always had an artistic side. It is part of who they are. Living proof is the myriad of museums found in the country. From the Museum of Greek Folk Art and Benaki Museum to the National Museum of Contemporary Arts built in the old FIX beer brewery, Greek art has been emerging and shaping through the centuries. Graffiti art in downtown Athens coupled with installations at Technopolis in Gazi neighborhood give a whole new meaning to art in a lifelike manner.
We could go on and on listing museums and sites and forms of crafts found inland, but the essence here is that a fistful of euros will buy you a ticket to time-travel, you will dig under the surface and learn the stories and the secrets or get to know the person behind the object, the whys and the hows.
In a massive production era, that's just priceless. Plus you'll get to bring a treat back home!