National Geographic : 1928 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE LOADING FAMAGUSTA ORANGES ON THE DECK OF A SMALL GREEK STEAMER A large number of porters are used, as the ship stays in port only part of the day. When one sees a group of Cypriotes at a distance, he looks for toy shovels and pails, for they resemble little boys in wide rompers and sun hats, going to play on the beach. The Moslems wear a kerchief with lace flower fringes about their red tarbooshes, and pink or orange shirts, blue trousers, and purple stockings, all pro tected from autochromes by religious tenets. The women do little to keep alive the Aphrodite tradition. One of their sex says of them: "They are rarely pretty or even good-looking, being heavy of feature and clumsy of form, and their voices are harsh and shrill. But how could any woman be beautiful who works from sunrise till dark for a few piasters a day ?" WORD-PAINTING THE GIRLS OF RIZOKARPASO Murat, my Famagusta friend, praised the women of Rizokarpaso, out on the tail of the oxhide which Cyprus suggested to ancient cartographers. "The people out there are more indus trious and their houses are stone instead of mud. They don't work their women so hard, and the climate is not as hot as in the plain. The girls wear a shift of soft, straw-colored silk with bits of glint in it. Over that they wear a combination skirt, colored like Solomon's glory, and jacket with the front open, revealing a pleasing contour. "On their heads they wear gauzy ker chiefs called mandilyia, dark green, with tiny lace flowers at the edges, so worn that the fringes are like floral wreaths. Their hair hangs low in long braids and their walk is queenly, like that of Syrian women who bear burdens on their heads." We rolled into Rizokarpaso on waves of dust and heat. The panting village sprawled out amid the green of grain and orange grove. Former home of pirates, its houses are widely dispersed, as if the builders had feared one another more than they did invaders. On the glaring white roads not a person moved. In the coffeehouse, men shouted drunkenly. I suspected Murat of imagi nation. The cook, a super-Katarina, fulfilled the letter of his description, but violated the spirit through sheer generosity. She was fit material for two of Rizo's dream women, but not for one.