I have an abiding attraction to baskets, large or small useful or decorative, I can’t resist.
Evidence of baskets have been found as far back as Neolithic times and are made all over the world using whatever pliable, tough, vegetation that comes to hand from grasses to twigs. In Cyprus cane from reeds is used to make the hard cane baskets with coloured sections seen everywhere on the island. Date palm leaves are used for the plaited softer baskets and straw in the making of tsestos which are the round, flat, tray like baskets. These are made and decorated using coloured straw or as in the Paphos region traditionally, coloured scraps of materials. A multitude of patterns are used many incorporating the cross. Their uses are many and varied. They are ideal for drying out foodstuffs like fresh pasta ready for storing, being woven of a natural material the air circulates freely.
My favourite museum in Cyprus is the basket museum in Inea near Polis, which has examples of nearly every kind of basket made in Cyprus.
Here are some links to previous posts about baskets.