As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
I just watched some of this film. ALthough its in Italian, there is not a lot of important dialogue and it is easy to follow the story of a man returing from the war (WW2 I think) to find a neighbour has stolen his family's sheep and is about to marry his sweetheart. What most of you will find interesting is to see the condition of the homes, the clothing, the life they led in the time after WW2. I think it will help you understand why your ancestor left Italy, and why they never talked about their life, or returning.
We have to resort to a movie to find out about the exodus of southern italians? I would not even trust the "so called" history, written by the "conquerors" of the italian south (the Piemontesi), history is always written by the "winning side" in a manner that makes them look heroic and do-gooders, just like the white man against the native americans. Imagine trying to find out about massive southern emigration from a movie.
ItalianbellaSA wrote:I would like to watch the movie - can someone please tell me how to obtain it?
Sue The film is on dvd and available from amazon.com but, unfortunately, there is a notation that the "DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the US or Canada [Region 1]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV."
Erudita It's interesting that you have an affinity for the "pastore" occupation. I too have read about the life of the Pastore and most likely less than you attaching more art than reality to the subject. I have a classic fotoprint in an e-mail picture of a Pastore dressed contemporaneously in winter garb on a windswept crest. I keep it thinking that someday I can have it painted and mounted. Your comment piqued my interest. Peter
PeterTimber wrote:Erudita It's interesting that you have an affinity for the "pastore" occupation. I too have read about the life of the Pastore and most likely less than you attaching more art than reality to the subject. I have a classic fotoprint in an e-mail picture of a Pastore dressed contemporaneously in winter garb on a windswept crest. I keep it thinking that someday I can have it painted and mounted. Your comment piqued my interest. Peter
Very interesting, Peter. I actually research, as thoroughly as I can, any occupations which come into my husband's ancestry and mine. I don't find it sufficient to just translate the Italian occupation words into English, as that doesn't really tell us what kind of daily work our ancestors did. The life of the shepherd, whether he was living on the mainland of southern Italy, or in Sicily, was basically a lonely one. In the province of Matera on the mainland, for example, the shepherd would always live in the country by himself and only return home once every two weeks, for forty-eight hours, to have a conjugal visit with his wife. While away, he always remained dressed in his leggings and slept on a makeshift bed. His continued absence from his home, and his conjugal bed, was, in fact, considered to be a marital disgrace. It also censored the rapport he had with his children. During the periods in which he did return home, he was known to have exercised his authority in a very violent manner. Otherwise, it was his wife who had the authority over the children and, in his absence, was deprived of a social life because of this. In the days when there was no modern agricultural machinery, no enclosed pens for grazing, and no refrigeration for the milk that had been gathered from the sheep, the jobs of shepherds, or sheepherders, were actually most difficult. Also related to this occupation was the concept of Transumanza which involved the sheep being moved from high ground to low and vice versa. This was a twice a year phenomenon and would mean that the shepherds were away from their native towns for weeks at a time. Erudita
Having experienced some of what you say (the day before a feast, the sheepherders brought their flocks thru the town for the 5AM mass at the cathedral and all the sheep with their bells would be herded in the piazza and their passing along the Via outside the place I was staying woke me up) This took place about 50 years ago when I was a student at Perugia and took a trip to the meridionale to see the feasts which went from town to town........ Thanks for the memories. Peter