The Cretan knife
The Cretan knife is one of the most important elements of a true Cretan’s attire, an integral piece of his equipment, his character, his life. It is a weapon and a jewel at the same time, to be used in everyday life and to show the pride and bravery that Cretan men have been famous for throughout the centuries.
Cretan knives are unique; their design is unlike any other knife found in the world, and the craftsmanship and materials used showcase the status of the man it was meant for. You can recognize a Cretan knife by the shape of its steel blade. Straight at the base, slightly raised upwards towards the point, a flat thick back and a sharp point; most of the time inscribed with intricate embellishments or a “mantinada” poem. Its handle, made of animal bone, horn or even ivory, has a very unique “V” shape that makes it stand out, instantly recognizable as the true symbol of Crete.
It is used for almost anything. From the obvious, a weapon, used to defend oneself or fight all sorts of enemies, Cretans used their knives to resist against conquerors since the beginning of time. No wedding proposal was complete without the groom presenting his fiancée with a knife in an intricately decorated silver sheath; both as a jewel and a proof of her betrothal, but also as a means for her to protect her life if necessary. Sheep herders use it to slaughter and skin their livestock; and back in the day, there used to be a small set of pincers hidden in the handle to help hold the charcoal used to light a hookah pipe.
The Cretan knife is the timeless symbol of pride and bravery, of the Cretan spirit to resist all enemies and to fight for what they stand for; the Cretan knife is the symbol of freedom!
photo source: http://goo.gl/IvGvFp