From the "Mouchtaris" to the "President of the Community Council".
"Mouchtaris" -from the Turkish word "mouchtar", which means the village's head / notable -was a person without a criminal record and -usually -a person with a large real estate or personal property, appointed by the Ottomans (Turks). His responsibilities were to uphold the law and order in the village, to collect certain taxes, and to summon the police whenever that was necessary. His house was the "hostelry" of all the governmental employees that visited the village, as well as the place where their horses rested.
Many of these persons served as "Mouchtarides" (plural) for decades provided they performed their duties properly. This policy also continued after the Independence of Cyprus, until 1982 when the "Mouchtaris" or "President of the Local Authority" -as he was named -started being elected by the inhabitants every five years.
Now he is named "President of the Community Council", while the "Azades" -the "Mouchtaris" assistants -became "Members of the Community Council".
Through researches of the archives of Pafos's District Administration that have been conducted, it is known that the following persons served as "Mouchtarides" of Steni from 1902 until 2001.
1. Theodoulos Nittis 1902-1906
2. Dimitris Hadji-Papa-Giannis 1907-1911
3. Ilias Hadji-Lampi 1912-1940
4. Kyriakos Papa-Dimitri 1941-1947
5. Ioannis Loizou 1948-1050
6. Andreas Lampidis 1951-1956
7. Christodoulos Papa-Kyriakou 1957-1959
8. Andreas Lampidis 1960-1966
9. Charalampos Lampidis 1967-2001
Priests of Steni
The "Papas" (Father / Priest) along with the "Mouchtaris" and the teacher were the leading figures of the village; however, the villagers showed special respect for their priest, since he was the one that supported them through his advice in difficult times, performing his ministry without a pay and through the meager means that existed then.
Through our research it has been established that Steni had no shortage of priests, at least from 1850 until today. On the contrary, it seems that from 1870 until 1910 there were at least four priests simultaneously in the village, something that cannot be observed in any other village of Cyprus during that era, especially considering the community's population at the time.
Going back in time, we find evidence regarding Papa-Giannis Hadji-Argyrou who lived in the village from 1800 until 1870. After his death or perhaps before he died, Papa-Christodoulos Nikolas (also known as Hadji-Protopapas) became the priest. Papa-Christodoulos Nikolas served the village until his death in 1902, at the age of 80.
According to our data, in the same era, which is from 1850 until 1902, the village's church was jointly officiated by Papa-Argyros Papa-Giannis (son of the aforementioned Papa-Giannis Hadji-Argyrou), by Papa-Charalampos Hadji-Savva, otherwise known as "Papa-Mallouris" (he had long and dense hair), and by Hadji-Papa-Giannis Hadji-Savvas, otherwise known as "Papa Neos", something that indicates he was the last one to be ordained priest out of the four that came after Papa-Gianni Hadji-Argyrou's death.
In 1904, Papa-Kyriakos Papa-Christoforou (otherwise known as "Papa-Tzyrkatziis") and Papa-Savvas Petrou (grandson of the first priest Papa-Gianni Hadji-Argyrou) in 1922 were added to the team of the remaining priests; the two priests served the village together until their deaths, Papa-Kyriakos in 1961 and Papa-Savvas until 1974.
The village's Priest today is the "Economos" (Church Steward) Father Joseph Chr. Vodommatis.