Chios mastic makes UNESCO List

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Chios’ famous mastic cultivation has been noticed by UNESCO.The know-how in cultivating and harvesting mastic has been inducted in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (ICH by the world organisation.UNESCO felt that the ancient artform, passed down from generation to generation should be preserved, and given the opportunity to flourish as a tourist attraction on the small island. “The knowledge associated with the cultivation and collection of mastic is passed down from generation to generation; it constitutes an important component of rural life for the inhabitants of Chios facilitating social cohesion and solidarity among them,” UNESCO said on the decision.It hopes to safeguard the cultural tradition and make it sustainable. The harvesting of mastic is a year long process, that includes all members of the family. Men take care of the natural fertilisation and pruning of the shrubs in winter, while from mid-June, women sweep, level and clean the ground around the trunk, so that the mastic can easily be recovered. From July, an incision is made to the tree’s skin and main branches with an iron tool. Once the mastic has solidified, women select the larger “tears” first, wash them and store them in wooden boxes in a cool place.The community’s older members are responsible for passing the mastiha incision and harvesting techniques to younger generations.According to a statement by the Culture Ministry in Athens, the cultural arm of the United Nations endorsed a Greek request for the special status during its annual conference in Paris, which took place late November.The decision, the ministry said in its statement, “is an acknowledgement of the value of this element of our cultural heritage and, at the same time, it incorporates it in a global system aimed at the promotion and protection of living traditions”.Chios has nearly 2,000 mastiha growers who live in the 24 Mastihohoria (mastic-growing villages)Efforts to produce mastiha in the north of Chios, as well as elsewhere in Greece or abroad, have failed, due to the geological, soil and micro-climatic conditions, as well as due to the local producers’ know-how.Source: Kathimerini, Greek Reporter Greece, UNESCOlast_img read more