The Mastic of Chios (Sakiz) Island: A Small-Scale Ottoman Agricultural Enterprise


Emecen F.

OSMANLI ARASTIRMALARI-THE JOURNAL OF OTTOMAN STUDIES, no.37, pp.1-16, 2011 (Journal Indexed in AHCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 37
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Title of Journal : OSMANLI ARASTIRMALARI-THE JOURNAL OF OTTOMAN STUDIES
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-16

Abstract

This study deals with the production of sakiz (mastic) and its role in the Ottoman agricultural sector. More specifically it examines its production as a monopoly on the Aegean island of Sakiz (Chios). The production of mastic on the island is traceable from the period of the ancient Greeks forward. Throughout history it was used in the making of perfume, as something that was chewed for pleasure and at the same time in the production of alcholic beverages. In particular it was a valuable and highly esteemed commodity throughout Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean basin. Following the island's incorporation into the Ottoman polity, its mastic production was reorganized. However, the special status of its mastic producing villages (located on the southeastern section of the island) remained unchanged, and they continued to enjoy a monopoly over its production and distribution. This status was not only maintained but strictly controlled by imperial regulations.