The Folk Museum of Sitia was established in 1974, it is housed in a Municipal traditional building and it is considered as one of the most important local museums in Greece. The exhibits are not displayed in a permanent position within the Museum, as the collection is continually renewed; this is due to the continuous enrichment of the material, both from donations of the people in Sitia and from purchases of new items by the Museum.
All kinds of equipment found in traditional Cretan houses are comprised in the collections of the Museum.
The most impressive exhibits are the old embroideries and needlework, which are really masterpieces. You will see excellent “tsevredes”(embroidered table-centres), pillow cases of fine calico with the finest needlework, nice table cloths of linen, numerous doilies and woven cloths with hand made laces, blankets of silk and various towels, of cotton, of silk, or woven, decorated with marvelous embroidery, as well as hand-made curtains with embroidered depictions of small “eros” and of Aphrodite and Pan.
The woven textiles are another part of the collection; you will see blankets and rugs, nosebags and pouches, carpets and the “prosomia”, textiles used for the transportation of the pitchers (it was put on the shoulder under the full pitcher).
All the space is full of furniture. One of the most interesting pieces is the carved cabinet and the excellent dressing table with the washstand, a real work of art. The visitor also sees a sofa and a bed covered with the traditional bedclothes, a buffet, the trunk with the dowry of the daughter of the family, a cute cradle and the excellent bronze nuptial bed with a canopy.
The wood carved equipment is also impressive, most of all the mirrors with wood-carved frames, as well various items of every day use: comb and brush cases, cases for photos, for needles and a fine case for newspapers. You will also see wood carved frames for clocks, and a lot of framed pictures decorated with silk cocoons.
The Museum has also a lot of traditional costumes, both of men and of women, used in various cases: you will see a farmer’s costume, represented in all its details and a women’s evening dress of the early 20 th century, showing the European influence; there is also a variety of underwear, the most fascinating being an embroidered nightshirt.
It is also displayed an exact representation of a traditional kitchen, with the low wooden table (“sofras”) and full equipment: cooking vessels, coffee grinders, stone mortars with decorated pestles, balances, storage jars, hand grinders for grinding of various seeds and the wooden lamp stand with the oil lamps on it.
You will also see excellent pottery as enameled decorated plates, water and wine jugs, vases, inscribed glasses and, most of all, the special vessels used to sprinkle Epitaph with fragrance (those vessels are called “gioulachtaria” in Crete).
Finally, one of the most impressive exhibits is the room with the loom: it is displayed an entire traditional loom, with all its equipment, along with tools for the treatment of linen, one of the commonest material for weaving (the other was wool).