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Traditional Jobs


Basketry is one of the oldest fields of handcrafting and one that has remained unaffected through the centuries but which, unfortunately, is about to become extinct.

Today only Mrs Ioanna Alexandrou and Mrs Anastasia Constantinou, who make “tsestous” and baskets, continue to deal with basketry.

This art was taught to them by their grandmother and mother who also dealt with basketry.

The “tsestos” and baskets are made of wheatgrass. The raw material is collected from the salt lake of Akrotiri and from the location “Vounaros” in Kolossi. Then, it is left under the sun for a few days to dry. Before being used, the wheatgrass is soaked and wrapped in bags so that it becomes flexible.

The making of the “tsestos” or the basket begins using two branches of wheatgrass. Next, the volume of branches used increases according to the thickness the makers want to achieve. The grass is wrapped with plastic ribbons of various colours so that different patterns are created.

As soon as she is finished, Mrs Anastasia decorates the “tsestos” or basket with colourful pieces of cloth.  

Mrs Anastasia takes parts in various events concerning traditional products.


Sewing with a long metal needle called “smili” is a traditional art which has been passed on from grandmothers to daughters and granddaughters up until today.

Today, among the women who deal with the art of making embroideries using “smili” is Mrs Despoina Charalampous, who learned this art from her grandmother and mother at the age of nine. Today, she makes embroideries in her free time.

The embroideries are basically made using cotton yarn or other types of yarns which can be found in the market. Her patterns include birds, flowers and various other geometrical shapes. Mrs Despoina also exchanges ideas and new patterns with other girls of the village who also deal with this art.

Using “smili” they make handkerchiefs, table cloths, curtains, quilt covers and various other decorative embroideries for the house.   



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