"Burini" in the Papal States

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.
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MarcuccioV
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"Burini" in the Papal States

Post by MarcuccioV »

I'm trying to learn more about internal migrations within the Italian peninsula and Sicily pre-unification (before 1871).

I found a scant bit of information about migrants known in the former Papal States (around Rome) as "burini". These were "foreigners" that settled in unimproved lands around the Roman countryside and set up farms there. Many of these migrants apparently came from "the Two Sicilies".

The terms "burino" (male) and "burina" (female) that originally described these migrants eventually became a term of slander against them by the native Romans and currently can be translated as "boor" or "lout" (more or less an uneducated hick).

It is also apparently a basis for the term "parlata burina" (country-speak), a collection of foreign dialects crude to the Romans.

What little I found indicated that the lingo of the burini combined and modified into local dialects of the area but retained certain aspects of the original dialects pre-migration.

Since all of my documented ancestors were simple tenant farmers (not tradesmen), and those I knew had dialects that would sound somewhat strange to speakers of true "Roman" Italian, I have to assume they came (at least in part) from these "burini".

Does anyone know of a resource where I can learn more on this subject..? Scanning the internet only seems to give the modern connotation with little historical context...
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Re: "Burini" in the Papal States

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Re: "Burini" in the Papal States

Post by MarcuccioV »

Interesting reading. Thank you, mmogno. Not a lot more information, but it does support my original research...
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Re: "Burini" in the Papal States

Post by darkerhorse »

cafone
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Re: "Burini" in the Papal States

Post by darkerhorse »

I think some pronounce it "gabone" or "gavone".

Bob Gigante used to call people that.
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Re: "Burini" in the Papal States

Post by MarcuccioV »

darkerhorse wrote: 25 Jul 2022, 17:14cafone
Yes, I'm familiar with the term. I guess from the Roman perspective, they might be thought of as "undesirables.".

Prior to my grandparents generation, all (or almost all) of the priors were illiterate, so along with a lack of 'trade' professions, it seems to confirm my suspicions...
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Re: "Burini" in the Papal States

Post by MarcuccioV »

darkerhorse wrote: 25 Jul 2022, 17:18 I think some pronounce it "gabone" or "gavone".

Bob Gigante used to call people that.
BTW, one of my close mtDNA matches (Sicilian, of course) is surnamed 'Gigante'. Big surprise...
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Re: "Burini" in the Papal States

Post by suanj »

The unification of Italy was proclaimed on March 17, 1861. But the Papal States had more long life, until 1870, and also the Marche region was under Papal power. This precisation for the following explanation abut the "burini".

With regard to the word "burino", this word meant the farmer who worked the land outside the "urbe", the countryside outside the perimeter of the town, ie outside the "urbe".

Urbe is the Latin name used to indicate the city/town, and in the case in question it was Rome, "urbe" for excellence. So the "burino" was the farmer of the Lazio countryside while the "buzzurro" were those from northern Italy who moved to Rome. The Romans called them by two different names depending on where they came from, but the meaning was always mockery for both in the sense of: uncivilized, non-urban, rude. Pietro Trifone, a well-known Italian linguist, writes that "burino" derives from "burra", the name used in dialect to indicate the "bura" that is the rudder of the plow.

But a explanation more ancient ( I put some explanations in parenthesis for what I thought is hard to understand if not Italian):

"Burini" and sometimes "burrini" are called those villagers who went to Rome from the Marches and other parts of Italy to find work in the Roman countryside, gather, especially in parties, in Piazza Montanara, at the theater of Marcello ( Theatrum Marcelli): hence the derisive appellation; "English of Montanara Place" or "English landed in the Marana of San Giorgio" which is a small stream towards the Roman Forum (Foro Romano). Perhaps this name of "burino" derives from "buris" or "bura" (ie the "bure" of the plow) or from "burra" (cow with a reddish coat), a word still used in some dialect, or from the same word as "burra "but of the low Latin (that is, late Latin, from before the Volgo began to be spoken, that is a facsimile of Italian derived from Latin, from dialects, from commonly used foreign terms) with which it was called a rough woolen cloth as the "burini" are dressed in a very rough woolen cloth (freely taken from "Centoventi sonetti in romanesco" by Luigi Ferretti and Luigi Morandi- year 1879 page 156)

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Re: "Burini" in the Papal States

Post by darkerhorse »

It's my experience that that "cafone" (variant pronunciations), as used in the U.S., is derogatory.
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Re: "Burini" in the Papal States

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My grandmother (who has mtDNA ties to Sicily), spoke in a dialect of "parlata burina" and despite being married in Italy at the age of 19 and immediately relocated to the USA, never really assimilated. She retained a thick accent, spoke only broken English at best, and except for rare (or special) occasions, dressed the part of a peasant, despite a comfortable US middle-class lifestyle (my grandfather worked in an automobile assembly plant).

It's almost as if she could not (or would not) rise above the caste of a 'burina'. Despite living over 75 of her 95 years in a suburban US lifestyle. Even my cousins referred to her as "Nona the country girl", in a semi derogatory manner...
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Re: "Burini" in the Papal States

Post by darkerhorse »

The way I've heard "cafone" used would be more like simpleton or knucklehead rather than country boy.
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Re: "Burini" in the Papal States

Post by darkerhorse »

So, even If you compared your grandmother to other woman in her family of her generation would you would still say she stuck out that way?
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Re: "Burini" in the Papal States

Post by MarcuccioV »

darkerhorse wrote: 27 Jul 2022, 03:13 So, even If you compared your grandmother to other woman in her family of her generation would you still say she stuck out that way?
Yes. She had friends here also from Valmontone that were considerably more "cosmopolitan". In some cases, very classy ladies.

All of her Italian-born peers were much better assimilated into American culture. Her sister's daughter, who visited here once, also had some of those "burinaisms" (simple dress, dialect, etc) even though she ran a tavern in Valmontone and was fairly well-off there...
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