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by Archaeology Newsroom

Displays of masculinity in mountainous Crete

One can only wonder whether or not the displays of masculinity in everyday behaviour are a conscious resistance to the rapidly accelerating standardization of traditions. Showing off stands perhaps one step before complete assimilation. Some mountainous villages in Crete can be seen as a case study. The inhabitants of these villages have already been organizing “Cretan dances”and “Cretan feasts” for tourists. Needless to say such a false attitude can affect the villagers’ everyday behaviour , and in the long run spoil their very nature. Day after day, these mountain people are exposed to strong currents of new and alien influences and demands. Are they then being submissive through their attitudes to folklore or are they proving to be extraordinarily able in adjusting themselves to the demands of the moment, as we have reasons to believe? This phenomenon can likewise be compared with the most traditional public displays of masculinity, the only important difference being that the role of women has now infiltrated public activities and has become an indispensable part of the local culture.

Is it then a ” poetry “of tourism that we are dealing with? The term can be justified given the fact that the inhabitants themselves consider that through this adjustment to circumstance they are grasping opportunity from the very teeth of the commercial shark, as, even today, they snatch laughter from death, a quibble from the clumsy verse of the antagonist, the fiance from the house of her strict father, and the best lamb from the worthy opponent, only to offer it later in a meal to the unsuspected representatives of the Law, while the latter are enjoying the best possible hospitality in the home of the wanted perpetrators, which is also home to the Law.