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ΚΟΙΝΟΤΙΚΟ ΣΥΜΒΟΥΛΙΟ ΦΛΑΣΟΥ
Αρχ. Μακαρίου Γ΄12Α
2843, Φλάσου
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Email: info@flassou.org / k.s.flasou@cytanet.com.cy
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TRADITIONAL JOBS

In older times, the village Flassou had a great variety of traditional professions. The inhabitants were occupied with interesting professions such as the cobbler, the miller (of the oil mill and watermill). The inhabitants also produced silk and linen. But let’s see explicitly these traditional professions.

Firstly we will refer to the cobbler. The cobbler fixed, reconditioned and manufactured the shoes of the inhabitants, and especially the boots that they used in the fields, as in older times people did not have many pairs of shoes. His contribution was very important if we take into consideration the limited economic capacity of the people.

His was mainly occupied with the manufacture of boots, as the inhabitants used them daily for their agriculture works. The peak season of their work was Christmas and Easter when everyone reconditioned their shoes or ordered new pairs. The boots were part of the traditional apparel of the island.

The cobbler painted also the shoes and make them shine. The quality of the shoes that he manufactured were not as good as those manufactured by the shoemaker.

The cobbler had many tools. Some of them were: knife, cutting tools for leathers, “raspa” a special tool for smoothing the leather and the “kalapodia” a special tool for the refinement of the shoes.

Since the mid of the 20th century the number of the cobblers begun to decrease. The mass production has influenced the cobblers who have lost many clients. For a period of time the shoe factories and the cobblers existed together but nowadays the cobblers have disappeared completely.

Some of the inhabitants of the village were shepherds. The shepherds were responsible to guard the heard and no to let the animals to make damages in other fields. The shepherds marked their animals usually by grooving their ears. They also took care of their animals when they were sick or when they gave birth.

Their income was based on the sale of their animals especially on Christmas time or during Easter. They also earned some money by producing and selling milk and milk products. They used goat or sheep milk for their products. Sometimes they mixed the two milks.

Below we will give some brief information on the manufacture of halloumi. 
First of all, we must note that halloumi is a traditional product of Cyprus and it is made of goat and sheep milk. Its production occurs as follows:
The milk is heated at a low temperature inside “chartzi” (traditional large copper caldron). Thereafter, the producer adds “pithkia” which is a special powder/enzyme that thickens the milk. The “chartzin” was covered with a straw disk “tsestos” until the milk was completely set. Then, they take out the “grosinos” (the dense milk) with a big spoon with holes and it is placed in the “tiroskamni” (traditional tool: a flat board based on a small table). Then they pressed the “grosinos” in order to remove the liquids. The name of this liquid is “noros”. The pieces of halloumia were kept in the “noros” after their completion.

The rest of the liquid, which have remained in the caldron, is reheated at a high temperature to produce the “anari” (white soft cheese). They also add milk and mix it very often. When the product came to the surface of the cauldron, they put it in the “talaria” (small baskets). The procedure was over after the pressing of the “anari”.

The halloumi pieces are then placed back into the caldron, inside the “norros” (whey), and are heated in a low flame until they are completely cooked. The cooking procedure lasts for about 60 to 90 minutes during which the small pieces of halloumi must be occasionally stirred with a special dipper. After being cooked they are again placed in the “tiroskamni”(cheesemaker’s stool) to cool down. Afterwards they are salted and various aromatic elements (such as mint) are added.

The shepherds also manufactured yogurt. They first heated the milk in a clay vessel called “tsoukka”. Then they added a special substance called “pikarti”. When this was completely dissolved they turned off the fire. The mixture was kept in a place where it conserved its temperature till its coagulation.

The profession of the shepherd still exists in Flasou and the traditional products are still made with the old traditional way.

Another profession which has survived is the miller (of the oil mill and of the watermill). The miller of the watermill grinded the cereals of his co villagers and produced flour and another traditional product “pourkouri”. The miller of the oil mill took the olives of the other inhabitants and produced oil. 
The miller was very popular in the village. The mayor of the village says that there were many watermills in Flassou near the bank of the river Karkotis. The watermill used basically water for its operation and in Flassou the water was “extracted” from the river Karkotis.

The watermill was composed of a wooden tub (“skafi”) where they put the cereals, the barley and the grain. The miller put the proper lever in the stone of the mill before he started to grind. The choice of the proper lever is made according to the needs and the requirements of the client. Some people wanted their grain more or less coarse. When the above were completed, the miller turned on the watermill allowing the vertical drop of the water in the paddle-wheel pivot which was the driving force of the mill stones.

The payment of the miller was made sometimes in money or grain.

As we mentioned above the miller of the oil mill was another popular profession in Flassou. The traditional oil mill was composed of the mill and the presser. The mill was composed of the “skouletin” a stone made basin and a mill stone which was a huge round stone with a hole in the middle and a girder passed through it. In older times the girder was moved by an animal. The movement of the mill stone stopped when all the olives placed in the “skoutellin” where smashed and grinded. Then the miller put the grinded olives in the presser. The olives where pressed and produced olive oil. Near the presser the miler placed some basins where the produced oil fell.

The payment of the miller was made in money or oil. When the miller finished his work, the client gave him the quantity of oil that they agreed or some money.

The profession of the miller was active till recently. Three oil mills were in operation, as the mayor says, till the last decade. This lead to the conclusion that the needs of oil exportation have imposed the conservation of this traditional profession.

The production of silk was another occupation of the inhabitants of Flassou. The silkworm had three phases or stages: warm, moth, chrysalis

The eggs of the last year’s silk moths, which have been hibernated during the winter months, are warmed. In older times, people used to wrap them into wool clothing or even into their own clothes to quicken the process. This way the eggs were hatched within 15 days.

Thereafter, the silkworms were put in a special environment with twigs, straws and mulberry leaves. The worms stopped eating for a short period of time and the villagers called this period “fasting period”. Gradually the worms became quite ugly, fat and semi transparent and begun to produce a filament silk in a cocoon.

Some of the worms produced silk on the straws and they didn’t manage to spin a cocoon. The birth of a moth caused destruction of the cocoon. The villagers did not allow to the silkworms to pass from all the stages unless they wanted to produce silk through the chrysalis.

Then, the chrysalis was put to sleep by exposure to the sun or hot air. The cocoons were carried in wool bags and they were taken to the silk manufacturer, who was responsible for the process known as reeling, and which would actually give them the silk. The producers estimated that for every 8 oka of cocoons they would get one oka of silk.

This way the inhabitants of Flassou ensured the basic material for the production of the best quality of fabrics. Unfortunately, the traditional way of silk production does not survive in our days.

The women of the village also produced linen fabrics. The production of these fabrics is related with the area of Solea. Linen fabrics were made from 1935 until 1953. The peak year of the production was in 1952.

The flax was cultivated in the area in great quantities and the villagers exploited it. The women of the village processed the fibres (called “stouppa” or “stouppi”) of the plant in the spindle (“rodani”). The fibres were converted to floss which was called “lini”. The white color of the “lini” was accomplished when it was washed in hot water.

Then the women manufactured linen fabrics such as clothes, underwear, table-cloths, sheets etc.

From the above descriptions we can see the every day life of the inhabitants of the village. The study of the traditional professions of the village helps us to get to know the history of the village.

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