"Mantinada is the voice that express a masculine but extremely sensitive soul: the Cretan Soul", as the poet and writer Nikos Kazantzakis has been claimed. Mantinades are usually short poems in rhyme accompanied by Cretan music. This common form of folk music is widespread across Crete and is being used by old and young people to express love, pain, separation, loneliness and other emotions. Most of them have not ever written and only few have been published.
A vivid example:
“A Cretan does not say in plain words what he feels,
with mantinades he weeps or with laughter he peals!”
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According to historical references, mantinades have been first appeared in Crete during 15th century, the period of Venetian rule. It was the first time Cretans started using rhythm, as being influenced by European poetry trends. This unique kind of folk music usually can be listened to weddings, baptisms, celebrations and other festivals. Authenticity, humor, cretan rhythm and live music characterize this special type of communication. Therefore, on your next trip to Crete keep in mind to learn at least one mantinada couplet!
Tip: Visit the village Anogia in the district of Mylopotamos, the eastern part of Rethymno to listen the most authentic mantinades. Rent a Eurodollar car for an once-in-a-lifetime experience!