Vourka: a Cyprus shepherd's goatskin bag

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Vourka: a Cyprus shepherd's goatskin bag

A traditional Cyprus handicraft. Made from the intact skin of half a goat.
I bought it from a shepherd when I was living in a Greek Cypriot village in the 1960s, so i know it's authentic. I admire the skill and ingenuity that went into designing and making it. (for example, the twisted shoulder-straps made from the goat's hind legs.) I have hiked with it in heavy rain, and found it completely watertight and comfortable to wear. A very practical object for a shepherd out in the mountains in all weathers. (I no longer use it for hiking! I regret i didn't preserve it more carefully - for me at that time, it was simply a useful hiking bag. Today i see it as a craft object, from a maybe-disappearing rural culture.)

I don't know if these are still used by shepherds today, or made only as tourist souvenirs.

I haven't assigned a culture category to it, as none of the available categories seem to fit. (the nearest timewise would be "Modern world" ; but i don't see it as "modern", although it was made in the 20th century.) May i suggest adding another category, such as "traditional Middle East"?

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Bought new from Cypriot shepherd in 1970


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