HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 184

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Jthe hawthorns were a mass of blossom, and scented the air for a considerable distance ; the groves of figtrees had broken into leaf; the trefoil had grown to a height of two feet, and numerous cattle were tethered in the rich field, to feed upon the few square yards that each owner had purchased at a high price to save his animals from starvation. A field of broad-beans that we had left in early blossom twenty-four days before now produced our well-known vegetable for dinner, and I observed that the native children, with their usual liking for uncooked food, were eating these indigestible beans raw ! There had been no rain since our departure, and every crop that was not irrigated was absolutely destroyed. The aspect of the country was pitiable ; it should have been at this season a waving sea of green barley and young wheat, but it was a withered desert •—with a few patches of verdure like oases in a thirsty wilderness. This terrible calamity extended throughout the entire district or plain of Messaria, and exhibited a sad example of the great necessity of Cyprus— " an organised system of artificial irrigation. " We remained some days at Kuklia, during which I strengthened the gipsy-van by lashing the frame-work with raw bull's-hide and securing the blocks of the springs to the axles with the same material. It is worthy of note " that a fresh hide should never be used for lashing, but a skin that has been already dried should be soaked for twenty-four hours, and then cut into a strip as carefully and as long as the size will permit. When thus prepared, it should be re-soaked for four or five hours, and used while wet as a lashing, drawn as tight as possible. The power of contraction is enormous, and when dry the skin becomes as hard

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