Cypriote Labor

Nat Geo July 1928

Yesterday, we got a taste of the laborious jobs on the island of Cyprus in 1928. But one post could not do the many jobs justice.

The men below are taking a reprieve from sacking, weighing, and carrying heavy bags of carob pods. Carob is the nasty chocolate substitute that my folks made me eat from Whole Foods. No wonder it was so expensive. Most of this crop went to England, France, Spain and Egypt to feed cattle. What? Yes, for energy-rich fiber. But some of it was made into sweets and syrup.

Understandably, men’s work differed from women’s work, though both wore them down. In front of this dyeshop hung with yarn dyed a deep blue for men’s trousers, this elderly woman spins yet more yarn. The trousers had full seats that were tucked into the belt for cross-country walking.

Speaking of walking, here we see another baker (similar to yesterday’s baker), carrying an entire bread counter on his shoulders.

If you didn’t like carrying, you could spend the day tossing, like this man and boy at a Famagusta pottery pile. The ones he neglected to catch would up in the dovecote.

The broken jars became shelters for doves, who made their way into lore in the tale of the Cypriote king who kept himself cool by causing doves to flutter around him. This was before boxed fans.

If you looked like a Mediterranean Charlie Chaplin, you might find yourself in this job, where another version of Chaplin scrunched down inside a kiln.

There they fired oil, wine, and water jars. I would suggest a pair of shoes.

This might be hard to detect against the backdrop of the Sea Gate Tower, part of the city’s Venetian fortification, but here we see a two-man sawmill.

That kind of work calls for Gatorade. But that wouldn’t be invented till ’65.

Join us tomorrow for yet more fun and fabulous career choices! I leave you with this image of a 12-year-old on her day off from breaking rocks, enjoying a day of rest.

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10 thoughts on “Cypriote Labor”

      1. I hate to be “that guy” because these are great pictures but these folks really seem to be earning a drachma the hard way. Especially the ladies making big rocks into little rocks. However the baking guy’s gig doesn’t look too bad. I am sure his load is heavy but it will lessen as he sells his bread, and he has the aroma of fresh bread around him all day and he interacts with women as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Fascinating and interesting! And love the photos!
    Again, I will pass on these jobs and see what you offer us tomorrow! πŸ˜‰
    When people mention “the good old days”, my youngest-young-adult kiddo says, “The good old days were not so good as far as I can see.” Ha! πŸ˜€
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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