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Circolo IL PONTE Ginosa

Thursday, Apr 22nd

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Who is U’ Munachicchije?

The sun rose too early and the evening went down too late for shepherds and labourers who lived in the caves of the “Gravina”of Ginosa. So much effort in exchange for a bag of vegetables, some pint of oil and lots of flour .

This was the life of hard work and endless misery that our people attempted to make bearable by believing in an elf, U ' Munachicchije, whose existence handed down through time..

U ' Munachicchije, in popular belief, was the child died without baptism (there were many at that time, because the poorest was delayed several years to baptise their children).

U ' Munachicchije was imagined as a very small creature, cheerful, moving fast here and there, whose greatest pleasure was to do all sorts of teasing: tickle underfoot of asleep men, pull away the sheets from the beds, throw sand in the eyes, break the strands of drying laundry to get them dirty.

He was dressed in a cloth and carried on his head a chunky red hood.

The only way to defend against his pranks was to try to grab his hood; ù munachicchije, to get it back, revealed the place where he buried a treasure.

What is “Terre de U’ Munachicchije” Festival?

The main theme of this year festival “Terre de u’ Munachicchie” (11-12 /08/2014 in Ginosa , Taranto) is the history of traditional food.

We decided to dedicate our brochure 2014 to a virtual tour throughout  the links between flavors and memories.

We invited some of our best local artisans in food market (bakers, chefs, cheesemakers, pastry chefs, butchers, oil and wine producers…) to tell us what are, in their opinion, the best products of our region and how new technologies and procedures in agriculture, breeding  and industrial production changed the way in which we feed us.

We have been told, for example, that working in a butchery  now requires more and more sale skills because  customers are everyday more demanding and because slaughtering, the main job of butcher until 20-30 years ago,  is now an activity done in dedicated farm houses organized like real industries.

Our tastes have changed;  the availability of some products on our tables is not the same than in the past; health problems linked to food  (allergies, intolerances…) seem to involve every day a larger part of population;  we do not spend our “free time” in the same way our grandfathers did….

Those are just some of the reasons that completely changed our alimentation.

A few examples.

In the past, handmade pasta was what we usually ate while “industrial” pasta was dedicated to special occasions.  Lentils and other legumes , nowadays not so cheap in the supermarkets and considered basic food for lots of vegetarians and vegans, in the ancient barns were always available in big quantities and sometimes were used to feed pigeons! Even pigeons, those funny birds that we usually dislike because of their invasion in some of our cities, in the past were cooked and considered an excellent source of health and power for pregnant women…

Even our relationship with bread and water, the main characters on human alimentation, has completely changed.

As everybody knows , today to fulfill a glass of water is the easiest of the activities while in the past that was a long and heavy work since people had to go to the village fountain to stock up enough water to cook and wash for all the family. In the meanwhile, time spent in waiting on line, was one of the rare occasion to chat with other people about local events and gossips.

Concerning bread, in the past most of people prepared homemade bread and  cooked  the dough in the neighborhood oven. We have been told that in Ginosa the first baker shop, like the ones we are now used to, has been created after the II World War thanks to the American allies. Actually there was not a large choice of products a part of bread;  the wide range of salty and sweet products we now see behind the show cases arrived in the shops only after several years thanks to better economic conditions.

Recurring food history of our area, we asked our kind artisans to reveal us the secrets of their most important traditional recipes. In the Italian version of the brochure you can discover  for example how to prepare “Recchietèdde e frecièdde cu rajù de brasciòle de cavadde” (orecchiette pasta with tomato sauce and rolls of horse meat), “Paste e fasulìne” (spaghetti with green beans), or how to recognize and serve an excellent local wine.

To learn more about our history, our food, music and tradition, we invite you to join us at our summer festival “Terra de u’munachicchie 2014” in Ginosa, Taranto.

Here below the program of the events:

11th of August 2014:

h: 6.00 p.m:  Vintage cars parade

h: 6.30 p.m: Treasure hunt (P.zza Marconi) /  Kids activities

h. 7.00 p.m:  Puppet theatre (P.zza IV Novembre)

h: 7.30 p.m: Live Painting ( Vittorio Emanuele)

h: 9.00 p.m: Presentation of the short movie “La nostra cucina nella memoria e nella storia” by M.A. Raguso (P.zza Orologio) / Exhibition of the chorus “I cantori dell’Arci” directed by Mariano Panico (main stage)

h: 10.20 p.m:  Concert of “The Pleasure of music” (P.zza Orologio)

h: 10.30 p.m:  Concert of “GRP” (P.zza IV Novembre)


12th of August 2014:

h: 7.00 p.m:  Kids activities

h: 7.30 p.m: Live Painting ( Vittorio Emanuele)

h: 8.30 p.m: Presentation of the short movie “La nostra cucina nella memoria e nella storia” by M.A. Raguso (P.zza Orologio)

h: 9.00 p.m:  Concert of “Piano, Forte, Sax” (P.zza Orologio)

h: 10.00 p.m:  Concert of “I Gagliardi” (P.zza Orologio) / Presentation of the theatre comedy “Casa dolce casa” (main stage)


About us

Circolo Arci "Il Ponte" was born in Ginosa in 2005 and now counts about 150 members.

It distinguishes itself for its commitment in various areas of cultural and political life of the city. In 7 years, the Association has organized several debates in schools, theatres and squares , has organized public presentation of books with their authors, and has promoted live music events, continuously cooperating with institutions and associations.

"Il Ponte" offers its members a wide range of courses, from music to dance, from acting to singing to the figurative arts.

Among the main activities of theAssociation there are:

- the company of puppets "The magic flute". It has staged dozens of shows in Puglia and Basilicata, gathering funds for charity.

- the polyphonic choir "I Cantori della Térre dù Munachicchije"consisting of approximately fifty singers engaged in a traditional folk repertoire. Founded by Maestro Davide Giove, is now conducted by M° Mario Donvito.

- the creation of the compilation "Musichiamoli Tutti": budding bands selected through a competition plays original songs.

The Main calendar of the Association events includes:

- Festa della Liberazione: each year the members celebrate the anniversary of April 25th with civil commitments for the recovery of particular areas of the city that need public intervention.

- "Terré de U ' Munachicchije"Festival: for the seventh year the Association brings a moment of celebration and reflection on one of the remotest traditions of our culture, the one embodied by the figure de U ' Munachicchije.