Mastic pilot test


Mastiha, or mastic, is a product from the mastic tree, which exclusively grows in the south-west of Chios Island in Greece. This HC is therefore highly localised (indigenous craft) and part of the fabric of local life. The 24 villages from where mastiha is harvested are known as Mastihochoria, or Mastic Villages, their name being an indication of the importance of mastiha for the region. It is an outdoor craft, which relies on cottage industry while it is also centralised and organised though the Chios Mastic Growers Association.

The production of mastiha, an ancestral practice, unaltered over time, is a family occupation that requires laborious care throughout the year, and in which men and women of all ages participate on equal terms. Tasks are divided across genders and ages. The culture of mastiha represents a comprehensive social event, around which networks of alliances and mutual help have been established in society. Traditions and legends survive in the vernacular language, some of religious nature. The knowledge for growing mastiha follows certain rules and traditional characteristics, which ensure its authenticity, while also promoting improvisation and individuality. The craft and local life still witness age-old traditions related to the production of mastiha, even if the cultivation and application of mastiha are constantly subject to innovation.

Key mastic pilot results

Historical narratives

Explore our collection of curated historical narratives relevant to the mastic cultivation history in the island of Chios.

Interactive timeline

Explore our interactive streaming gallery of Mastic fabulae presenting historical and social events related to the craft of Mastic making in Chios in a timeline format.

Craft understanding

How does a pattern become a final product? Learn about the Jacquard weaving process and the hidden arts involved.

Historical Narratives

Interactive Timeline application

Digitisation & 3D Reconstruction outcomes

Chios villages

The architectural environment of mastic production villages is shown through aerial 3D reconstruction; their characteristic structure reveals fortification against pirates and storage buildings for mastic at the centre of the village that were guarded. In this dataset, aerial images were acquired via a UAV overlooking a village. The subject is a large building complex….

Mesta, Chios, Greece
Olympoi, Chios, Greece
Elata, Chios, Greece
Pyrgi, Chios, Greece

Museum of Chios machinery

The following videos show the 3D reconstruction outcomes of factory machines used in the production of the mastic chewing gum, exhibited at the Mastic Museum in Chios.

Εlectrically-driven sieve
Electrically-driven revolving cylinder
Twin electrically-driven candy machine
Distillation machine
Automated machine used to shape chicle into sheets and cut it as gum dragées

Mastic tools, scenes, costumes

Mastichokalatho, Timitiri , Kenditiri
A scene of a woman during the process of cleaning mastic on Chios island.
Chios traditional costume

Craft understanding

Explore the results of our craft knowledge collection


The mastic tree – Photographic archives from PIOP

The skinos plant, also known as the mastic tree, is an evergreen shrub. It is a resilient plant which thrives in the arid, stony, dry and poor soil of southern Chios, where the male plants are cultivated. The oldest surviving testimony that confirms the existence of the skinos plant (Pistacia lentiscus) has been found at the site of the volcano on Santorini Island, where fossilized leaves of the plant dating from 50,000 to 60,000 years ago have been found enclosed within the walls of the caldera. The plant Pistacia Lentiscus var. Chia belongs to the Anacardaceae family. It is related to species such as the pistachio tree (Pistacia vera) and terebinth (Pistacia terebinthus). Today the mastic trees are characterized by a variety of subspecies that often differ from village to village. The differentiation is more prominent in the foliage and the height of the shrub, while the amount of resin produced may also vary.

3D reconstructions of tools used in the mastic cultivation


Applying the Mingei protocol in the Silk pilot

[NP+Short description of the protocol 3-4 lines]

[NP+Link to the protocol]

[NP+ Relevant publications]

  • Zabulis, X., Meghini, C., Partarakis, N., Kaplanidi, D., Doulgeraki, P., Karuzaki, E.,Stefandi, E., Evdemon, T., Metilli, D., Bartalesi, V.,Fasoula,M., Tasiopoulou, M., and Beisswenger, C.,(2019). What is needed to digitise knowledge on Heritage Crafts?Memoriamedia Review.
  • Zabulis, X., Meghini, C., Partarakis, N., Beisswenger, C., Dubois, A., Fasoula, M.; Nitti, V., Ntoa, S., Adami, I., Chatziantoniou, A., Bartalesi, V., Metilli, D., Stivaktakis, N., Patsiouras, N., Doulgeraki, P., Karuzaki, E., Stefanidi, E., Qammaz, A., Kaplanidi, D., Neumann-Janßen, I., Denter, U., Hauser, H., Petraki, A., Stivaktakis, I., Mantinaki, E., Rigaki, A., Galanakis, G. (2020). Representation and Preservation of Heritage Crafts. Sustainability, 12(4), 1461

STEP 1. Human resources and digital assets

In this step, we collect the documentation that will be eventually transformed into knowledge and history that we will digitally represent.

Human resources are invaluable in the description and explanation of craft practice and context. In this process, digital assets serve a range of purposes, from note-taking to reference practices by an HLT. Moreover, sometimes the contribution of a human resource may be available only through a recording.

Digital assets are carriers of documentation, information, and knowledge that required a comprehensive representation of craft. Moreover, digital assets that are appreciated by human observers (i.e., audio-visual) can encompass an insightful understanding of processes, environments and semiotics.

[Techniques used:]

[NP + Open datasets]

[NP+ Add the following resources]


[NP+ Add the following video]


[NP+Relevant publications]


[NP + content from the living document of WAAG regarding the co-creation process]

[NP+ link to the living document]

Applying the Mingei protocol in the Silk pilot

STEP 2. Knowledge Elements

In this step, basic craft knowledge or otherwise knowledge elements are formed and digitally represented. In plain words, this means that the digitisations are entered in the Mingei repository, properly classified and linked to the other entities in the repository. Collectively, the classifications and links formed in this step form the semantic metadata that have been previously introduced.

Forming a knowledge element requires a comprehensive understanding of the digitally represented asset and is regarded as a digital curation process. Digital assets are represented in the system by knowledge elements associated with the result of a curation process that yields metadata, annotations, and descriptions. In this process, the original meta-data (if any) that accompany the digital asset are useful.

Representation of knowledge on craft processes includes curated material which is also digitally represented. The basic elements of such representations are the events, or actions, that comprise the craft process and the links that relates these events between each other and with the objects that document or contextualized them.

[Techniques used:]

[NP+ MoCap]

  • Armines approach
  • FORTH approach

[NP+Relevant publications]

[NP+ Add mocup video]


Applying the Mingei protocol in the Silk pilot

STEP 3. Craft Representation

In this step, the individual entities represented in the previous steps are linked to each other into an organic representation of the craft instance. This linkage implements the semantic representation of the craft.

The scope of this representation covers the following craft dimensions:

  • Tangible elements, such as materials, tools, and products
  • Craft actions and processes
  • Contextual knowledge that provides an understanding of
    • Artefact usage
    • The CH of a region and its people embedded in the artefact
    • The historic, geographical, economic, and social dimensions of the associated craft instance.

[Techniques used:]

Mingei Online Platform (MOP) is an authoring platform for the representation of social and historic context encompassing a focal topic of interest.

[NP+Relevant publications]

  • Partarakis, N., E. Karuzaki, V. Doulgeraki, I. Adami, S. Ntoa, D, Metilli, V. Bartalesi, C. Meghini, M. Theodoridou, G. Marketakis (2020, under review). Representation of socio-historical context to support the authoring and presentation of multimodal narratives: The Mingei Online Platform. ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage.


A digital narrative or, simply, a narrative is an abstraction that represents a set of facts that have happened in the world. These facts are connected to each other in a way that makes them a story.

This abstraction includes a narration, which is the way that a certain author has told the story. Individual narratives may be focused at a subject and include a pertinent subset of the events that are represented in the fabula.

The narration tells the story, using a certain medium. In Mingei multiple media are employed, starting from verbal and visual and reaching up to immersive and interactive narrations. A medium, and correspondingly, a media object may be multidimensional; for example the audio and visual components of a mobile phone “video” recording, or the combination of video and 3D MoCap recordings.

A narrator is a person or a program that presents a media object, i.e., verbally, by visual rendering, sonification, VR, etc. Besides multimedia and immersive presentations (discussed in the next step), conventional, verbal and visual, media objects and channels are of fundamental importance. A textual media object can be exported as a narrative for a person or an avatar to read, and a formatted document with illustrations, or an “infographic”, can output channels. In this context, Mingei aspires the export of more imaginative and interactive uses of conventional verbal and visual outputs, including scripts for theatrical re-enactment of stories and role-play on contextual dimensions of craft instance, such as skill, trade, and labour. The choice of narration medium is relevant to the use of the content, the intended audiences, and the experiences to be rendered these are discussed in the next step. In this step, we focus on the narrative representation.

A narrative can include additional information besides the connection of the narration to the facts that are narrated. In particular, a digital narrative consists of three main elements:

  1. A representation of the fabula made of representations of the events that the narration is telling.
  2. One or more media objects, each of which represents a narration.
  3. A digital representation of the reference function that connects the (representations of the) events of a story with a fragment of a media object that describes them and allows to derive the plot.

Each narration of a fabula employs the use of one or more media objects, which have been authored by one or more narrator(s). Through events or event schemas, craft narratives are linked to videos, images, testimonies, and documents that record or exemplify elements of the fabula. Collectively, these media objects are employed in the narrations of the Mingei narratives. Through the Mingei Online Platform, a tool for authoring and visualising narratives is provided.

[Techniques used:]

  • The proposed representation in MOP is employed in the contextualised presentation of a given topic, through documented narratives that support its presentation to diverse audiences. Using the obtained representation, the documentation and digital preservation of social and historical dimensions of Cultural Heritage (CH) are demonstrated.

[NP+Relevant publications]

  • Partarakis N., Doulgeraki P., Karuzaki E., Adami I., Ntoa S., Metilli D., Bartalesi, V., Meghini, C., Marketakis, Y., Theodoridou, M., Kaplanidi D., Zabulis, X., “Representation of socio-historical context to support the authoring and presentation of multimodal narratives: The Mingei Online Platform”, Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage, (to appear, JOCCH-20-0216).
  • Meghini, C., Bartalesi, V., & Metilli, D. Representing Narratives in Digital Libraries: The Narrative Ontology.

Information tools