THE CYPRUS WEEKLY. . - Nov. 9-15, 1979 THE BREAD OF LI FE What price for it? ture. Bread, the staple food of week, and inspite of heavy govern eS in.Cyprus the subsidy has been even greater with the loss, due to the 1974 invasion of the grain producing Messaoria plains. As a result, more flour has had to be imported. The controversy on the price, weight, shape and quality is nothing new however, nor is there any indication that it will ever be soived perma- nently either here or abroad. Poets have made It into a.symbo! of life, reli- gion has turned it into communion and the ordi- nary man tn the street ref- érs to it as a synomym of ' wage earning. [ts history is as old and as closely linked with human life as no other commodity ‘or food. tis this great link that. has led a West German: senator in the city of Ulm to ‘conyert part of his home into what is the first-ever bread museum in the world. From the gate, the tree-shaded villa looks like any other central - European home. But the owner, Willi Eiselen, oc- cupies only the top floor. The test of the building is thousands of visi- tors who come to see how people in the five conti- nents baked their daily bread through the ages. In the garden is alow shed with a red, siate- pitched roof. Jt is afamily baking oven from the Black Forest, built about one-hundred years ago. ’ Next to it stands a basalt handmill from. Jericho, dating back to biblical times, Closer to the house stands a baker's van, once pulled by a horse through the streats of Cologne, and on the outside of the house is along panel ~ an = A peasant wornan tends a baking oven, wood-fired or heated by electricity, still in use in most parts of the world, including Cyprus. 8 sO Soe of arms. and what quality? ancient Egyptian depic~ tion of bread-making. All the exhibits in the ‘museum are related. to bread, to its symbolic me- aning, to the baker and his craft, from the earliest times when grain was grown, milied and baked. Stone-age tools There are Stone-age tools, simple, crooked Sticks that serve as dib- bles for making holes in the earth to plant grain. Flanking them is a fabu- tous collection of ancient tools, slabs and moulds. One of the most stri- king items is a Klelekot- zer, a grotesque wooden mask from which spewed - forth chaff after it was se- parated from the wheat. in another room is hat jooks ike a collec- ion of painted plaques and tiles. They are Sprin- gerle, flat, thin cakes of bread, shaped by fancy moulds, depicting ele- gant women, flowers, but- tertlies. The exhibits include a variety of objects that belonged to bakers’ guilds, in pewter, glass or china. There are pain- tings, statues andsuperb- ly carved moulds for making ginger bread, Christmas and Easter bis- cuits, that depict ail kinds of things: animais, a wife pulling her drunken hus- band home ina cart, coats Ghosts In Germany bread is still shaped in the form of horses and coaches to prevent ghosts from pass- ing through the house, and. in Tyrol, bread is made for marriages in the shape of hands holding eggs -- a fertility symbol. On Good Friday and All Saints Day, for some mysterious reason, a big man with a pipe is baked.” And salt and bread is stili given to people when they move into a new home, aven if it is in a block of flats. millions throughout the world, has hit the headlines in Cyprus again this ment subsidy, the retail sale price is most Ilkely to go upin the near fu- The Museum under- lines the fact that bread is both food and culture. Frau Klara Winkler, a spe- cialist in European eth- nography, tells how the Romans were still making do with porridge when the Greeks were already bak- ing bread. But when the Romans learned to make bread, she says, they pro- duced loaves to feed their legions that were still edi- ~ aig = PAGE 9 _ ns ae 2 inner A 16th century woodcut, shows Central European vil- lagers making bread. These wood-fired ovens are not much different from similar ovens used to this day. Brazil A few years ago Frau Winkler visited a Tyrolian colony in Brazii, descend- ants of immigrants who went there 150 years ago. They still wear traditional Tyrolian dress and speak an old Tyrolian dialect, but, for some unknown reason, they use the old This bread mould, which stiows a young drummer mounted on a horse, was made bya baker's apprentice in the first half of the 18th century. : ble ten years after coming out of the oven. Frau Winkler tells vi- sitors the story of bread from Argentina, Sardinia, modern Egypt, the Middle East, and from the Mash- ona people of Zimbabwe. In Pakistan, she says, itis the custom in the North- West Frontier region, fora bride to bake a loaf weighing nearly 20 kilos. if the bread does not come out right, the marri- age is off. stone-age tools which were abandoned in Eu- rope thousands of years before their ancestors set off for the New World. The museum has a full set of these tools. Next to them are two round, flat stones: one of the very earliest ways of making bread was to cook the dough between two hot rocks. Another eady form of oven is an ear- thenware dish with closely-fitting upper and lower parts. The dough is e . put inside and the dish is closed and set over a fire. A little while before the bread has finished bak~ ing, the top of the dish is. lifted off to let out steam and enable tfie bread to form acrust. in contrast, a photographic display shows three men working a giant machine which produces 10,000 loaves of bread an hour. Significance The museum, now a member of the Unesco- affiliated International Council of Museums, has 30 travelling exhibitions which have been all over Europe. As a result, bread museums have been set up in France, Belgium, Austria and the Nether- lands. Its aim is to make people more aware of the significance of bread for mankind and civilisation. But it is not limited only to the happy side of making bread. A “Hunger Map”, pu- blished by the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organi- sation (FAQ) shows large areas of the world where bread is precious. Alongside it, is a dis~ play of “hunger coins’, tokens specially minted in Southern Germany in 1816 and 1817. They could be used to buy bread, but not drinks.