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Ethnographic Collection

The Ethnographic Collection held by the Society of Cretan Historical Studies includes representative items mainly from the 19th and the 20th century, collected from villages across the island, particularly East and Central Crete.

In the villages of Crete buildings of all periods stand side by side, the Mediterranean house chief among them. Household goods include essential items of clay, wood, iron and stone.

The local economy was based on traditional foundations (agriculture, animal husbandry, trade), and the professional occupations of the inhabitants were largely determined by their religion, at least until the mid-19th century.

The members of rural society experience time collectively; there is no dividing line between work and leisure time. The changing seasons dictate the need to carry out several farming activities concurrently, and social time is determined cyclically, revolving around the great landmarks of human life: birth, baptism, marriage, religious holidays, festivals and death.

The Ethnographic Collection at the HMC focuses on rural society, through productive processes (olive growing and viniculture, cereal cultivation, animal husbandry) and important milestones in life (birth, baptism, marriage). These human activities are closely bound up with the natural environment and the space in which they take place (folk architecture - reconstructed interior of a Cretan arch-house).

The exhibition is supported by the latest digital media, with visual and audio material.