Sponge Making Tradition of Krapanj

In the Sibenik archipelago settled the most populated small island in all the Mediterranean – Krapanj. People living on Krapanj simply breathe the sea. They have fell in love with the sea and have treasured its abilities for many centuries. Don’t be fooled by their rugged and rough hands, because those hands extract from the sea the finest and most tender lady of all – the sea sponge.

Sea Sponge from Krapanj Island | Total Croatia

Krapanj Island

More than 300 years old tradition of sponge making in this area established a strong connection between the people and the island. First written records of ongoing passion between this beautiful marine organism and all of its admirers, dates from 1522. Fr. Anthony arrived from Crete to teach people of Krapanj this noble discipline that still exists today. Sea sponge from Croatian Adriatic, Euspongia officinalis Adriatica – Dalmata Fina, is considered to be one of the best and most respected sea sponges in the world. This is not surprising at all since this simple multicellular animal, often misconstrued as plant, wisely chooses its habitat; it lives only in clean, salty, calm and warm water where it can honor everyone with its magnificent presence.

The sea sponge did not only mesmerize all the men who live with and for the sea, but captivated women’s attention too, with its magical properties which were recognized in the Old ages and are finally coming back. These properties are just so unique and there is no mechanical process that can artificially recreate them. Its performance is firm and soft at once. Supple and tough, resistant and has great absorbency. In the summer months, after they’ve been carefully picked and pulled out of the sea (growing at depths of 5-50m) the sponges, what else, sunbath. Cleaned up of sand, shells and plankton they are dried. Before being packed as a final product that will make their female owner very happy, the sponges are further processed in a very secretive way known only to old sponge makers of the Krapanj island. Commitment, experience and tradition of sponge making is transmitted from one generation to another in Krapanj family trees, all while preserving the secrets of this once very lucrative trade.

Sea Sponge from Krapanj Island | Total Croatia

Sea Sponge

Composition of 14% iodine gives the sponges anti-bacterial and anti-allergic properties. It’s the perfect, most natural female beauty product. It’s ideal for daily care of the face and body. Each sponge is unique, hand processed piece of work and once you put your hands on it, you will feel like you’ve been tricked. But don’t let its rudeness scare you; under the tap of water it transforms into softest, gentlest creature that loves your skin. Sea sponge will fit in your daily cleansing routine perfectly.  With extremely gentle texture it is very effective in removing make-up, fine peeling or the application of face cream. After use, all you need to do is wash it in clean water, allow to dry naturally and rest for tomorrow when it will be ready to use again. Sea sponges have traveled a long way to serve us with their magnificent properties and thus deserve our veneration and adoration.

Sea Sponge Krapanj | Total Croatia

Some souvenirs only collect dust and eventually dust covers the memories they carry. This one enters your daily routine. Even when you are away from the waves of the sea you will be able to relive your favorite holiday moments. The sponges represent abundant Dalmatian underwater, they carry a specific Mediterranean essence, they tell a tale of love and dedication to the fruits of the deep blue seas and perpetuate centuries old unbreakable connection between man and  nature.

  • Sea sponges are very simple multicellular animals
  • Among the first multicellular creatures that developed on Earth
  • There are about 5000 species of sponges, which are grouped under a single scientific name – orifera
  • Only about 15 variants have usage value, sponge makers call them tame sponges
  • Sponges are a renewable natural resource

 

Author: Nikolina Dukić

Photo Credit: (1) Tooma2, Wiki Commons, (2) Arjan Visser, Flickr, (3) Sean Nash, Flickr, (4) Pixabay

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