HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 424

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Before the British occupation, land was of little ι value, and an extreme looseness existed in the description of boundaries and landmarks. In the absence of fences the Cypriote can generally en croach upon any land adjoining his limit, should it , belong to the state. Every season he can drive his plough a few paces further into his neighbour's holding, unless prevented, until by degrees he succeeds in acquiring a considerable accession. The state is the sufferer to an enormous extent by many years of ! systematic invasion: Forest land has been felled and cleared by burning, and the original site is now occupied by vineyards. The bribery and corruption that pervaded all classes of officials prior to the British occupation enabled an individual to silence the local authority, while he in many instances more than doubled his legal holding. The absence of defined I boundaries has facilitated these encroachments. According to an official report this difficulty is dwelt upon most forcibly as requiring immediate investigation. The vague definition in title-deeds, which simply mentions the number of donums, affords no means of proving an unjust extension ; such terms are used as " the woods' bounded by a hill, " or " the woods bounded by uncultivated land, " and this indefinite form of expression leaves a margin of frontier that is practically without limit, unless the invader may be stopped by arriving within a yard of his nearest neighbour. My informant, Colonel Warren, R.A., I chief commissioner of Limasol, assured me that some holders of land in his district, whose titles show an amount of ninety donums, lay claim to ten times the area. There is hardly a proprietor who does not occupy a ridiculous surplus when compared with his

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