Traditional and Handmade

Traditional forms of Cypriot culture are to be found in music, folk-dancing, and various crafts as embroidery, lacemaking, potteries, and kilim weaving.

Nowadays, traditional crafts is connected with the many festivals in North Cyprus. Turkish Cypriots enjoy a festival and celebrate just about everything from an international level to local village festivals.

The blue eye (nazar boncuk) seen hanging in doorways, on clothes, in cars and jewellery is to ward off evil looks and spirits. Handicrafts include Lefkara lace work, from the Venetians era, for bedspreads and tablecloths etc. Weave a wicker basket with bamboo or knit (weave) a wicket tray ‘sesta’ from dyed straw, reeds and grasses, easily confused terms but articles from either make a great gift. Good buys are Kilims, small colourful rugs, silk pictures and brooches.

Traditional Terracotta vase reflecting ancient Cypriot designs

 

Lefkara lace-work

This is a truly Cypriot (both Turkish and Greek) lace-work, which is meticulously done by the ladies at Cypriot villages.

Lefkara lace is used to interesting effect in bordering small mirrors on the tables, or as dainty accessories for any room. To preserve this cultural and traditional hand-made lace-works, government of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus actively encourages the continuation of this tradition through a cooperative.

 

Hand-woven Kills

Beautiful and interesting kilim weaving is done in the villages in the Karpas peninsula.

Besides the boldly patterned kilim rugs, and carpets, there are embroidered rugs called “cicim” and rugs of Angora goat hair. Other type of crafts are hand-painted pottery, Mediterranean-type village basketry, Coffee pots, candlesticks, sheep skin rugs and leather clothing.

 

Plaiting

In Northern Cyprus the plaiting of wheat, corn, and reeds into interesting shapes and designs is very common. The plaiting of reeds in Serdarli village is especially famous, and the designs show the sensitivity, ability, talent and the humanity of the weaver. There is also a long tradition for copper, brass-ware, silver and jewelry.

 

Blue Beads (Nazar Boncugu) – A Traditional Turkish Talisman

The “Evil Eye” is a common belief among the people of the Mediterranean. It is widely believed that if one person gives another a hateful look, he or she may become ill or die from its negative effects. The strength behind the evil look is the “evil eye”. This belief streches back to the pre-Christian era.

Among those who believe in this traditional superstition, the main reason behind the evil eye is a person’s extreme feel of envy. However, it is also held that when a person is admired too much or is loved too extremely, the evil eye may strike.

Aside from protecting its wearer from harm or evil, the blue bead often on rings and necklaces or among Turkish motifs. The blue bead is not only the most widespread talisman used to ward off evil in Anatolia, it is sometimes placed on silver pr gold jewelry coupled with the inscription “God Bless”.

It is also believed that the evil eye affect not only the humans, but it can also affect plants, animals, and homes so the blue bead is used to pro- tect these as well.

Another means of protection from the evil eye is prayer. Despite all types of talismans, a person who has been touched by the evil eye is always exor- cised by a holy man. What else can we say but: “May God protect you from the evil eye.”

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