The music of Crete is a traditional form of Greek folk music, also called Kritika. Although, the Lyra is the dominant instrument for the genre, it is often accompanied by the Mandolin, the Askomandoura, and the Laouto.
Crete has its own distinctive Mantinades poetry. The island is known for its Mantinades- based music (typically performed with the Cretan Lyra and Laouto) and has many indigenous dances, the most noted of which are the Pentozali, Sousta, Chaniotis etc.
Cretan authors have made important contributions to Greek Literature throughout the modern period. Major names are Vikentios Kornaros, who created Erokritos, an epic romance (17th century) and in the 20th century Nikos Kazantzakis. In the renaissance, Crete was the home of the Cretan School of icon painting, which influenced El Greco and through him the subsequent European painting.
Cretan are fairly proud of their island and customs, and men often don elements of traditional dress in everyday life: knee- high black riding boots (called stivania), vraka breeches, tucked into the boots at the knee, black shirt and black headdress consisting of fishnet- weave kerchief worn wrapped around the head or draped on the shoulders (the sariki). Men often grow large moustaches as a mark of masculinity.