The Chios Mastic Museum
Discovering Chios’ cultural tradition, inscribed by UNESCO in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.Explore Chios Island’s renowned mastic product in its medieval settlement complex, known as Mastichochoria (meaning mastic villages), which date back to the 14th century. Up to this day mastic harvesting and all other processes are done by hand. Moreover, mastic is nowadays used for medicinal purposes as well as in cosmetics.
In Pyrgi Village you’ll encounter the Chios Mastic Museum, where the history and tradition of mastic unfolds before your eyes. The eco-friendly 3.270m2 building, in which the museum is housed, is built on a 12.000m2 land of which the 5.000m2 are covered by mastic trees. The museum aims in unveiling the history of mastic cultivation and harvesting which is part of Chios’ cultural tradition, not to mention that it has been inscribed by UNESCO in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (2014) as the know-how island for cultivating mastic gum.
The permanent exhibition of the museum deals with the uniqueness of mastic as a product. The exhibition starts by introducing the varieties of Pistacia Lentiscus Chia and the mastic tree as well as its resin, which was officially approved as a natural remedy in 2015. In the first section of the museum you’ll get informed about the traditional mastic know-how of cultivating this product. In the second section you’ll get to discover how the cultivation and process of mastic helped evolve the southernmost side of Chios Island forming the renown Mastichochoria settlements.
In the third section you’ll get informed about how cooperatives processed the mastic product and played an important role in the island’s recent history. A special reference is made to the evolution of the pre-industrial and industrial technology for the product’s history, the exploitation and marketing of gum mastic as well as its different uses. Finally your museum experience will conclude outdoors, where you’ll get introduced to the plant and its natural environment.