Photographer's Note

Lefkara 2007 June.

Lefkara (Greek: Λεύκαρα) is a village on the island of Cyprus famous for its lace, known as lefkaritika (Greek: λευκαρίτικα), and silver handicrafts.

The village takes its name from the white of its silica and limestone: Lefkara is derived from a combination of the Greek words "lefka" (Greek: λευκά, Translation: white) and "ori" (Greek: όροι, Translation: mountains, hills).

It is located on the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains in the Larnaca District of Cyprus, off the main Nicosia-Limassol highway. It features cobbled streets and picturesque architecture. Administratively the village is split into two parts : Upper & Lower Lefkara (Πάνω & Κάτω Λεύκαρα), with around 1,100 inhabitants.

Groups of women sit in the narrow village streets working on their fine embroidery, as they have for centuries. The village is also known for its skilled silversmiths who produce fine filigree work, and there is a small Turkish Delight factory. A folklore museum in the town shows visitors what life was like on Cyprus a hundred years ago. The museum is sited in a restored house and exhibits the furniture and effects of a wealthy family of the time, local costumes and examples of the Lefkara lacework.

According to legend, Leonardo da Vinci visited the village in 1481, and purchased a lace cloth for the main altar of the Duomo di Milano. The lefkaritika style was probably imported there in antiquity from Assyria. Much later, the Venetians brought it home, and set up their own lace industry on the island of Burano. In 1889 a local lace school was opened, and Lefkara lace regained much of its ancient renown.

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Additional Photos by Eduardo Balogh (Ketaka) Silver Note Writer [C: 2 W: 4 N: 70] (1191)
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