The wooden walking sticks or “vactiries’’, as the ancient greeks used to call them, are embedded in the life of the person, who is wandering, travelling on feet or lives and works in the nature. There are many representations and references of the canes in grave markers, in black-figure potteries and in the texts of Ancient Greek Literature. In Mount Athos, the walking sticks have always been beloved and useful protective tools for the monks. Here, where the time flows effortlessly, the monk has the ease to engrave on the cane motives, taken either from the religious globe, or from the natural (visible) world. Illustrations such as the Holy cross, Saint George, riders, birds, animals, human creatures or abstract designs used to be, and still are among the usual topics that the whittler monks choose. Plenty of raw material and in great quality are found easily in the virgin forests of Mount Athos; wild olive-trees, kermes, beech trees, dogwoods, linden tree and many more. Some canes are plain and others are more “heavy” or formal with special cravings, even despotic canes.
These handicrafts are not produced massively, while the whittler monk needs to find the appropriate wood, whose shape and “waters” will inspire him to crave. We, Monastiriaka, for many years now collect all these unique handicrafts of the monks of Mount Athos and represent them as a sample of the folk art, which is developing in this holy place.
Height: 134 cm.