Costume Traditions and Crafts  

The Typical Footware – the Cioce of Ciociaria

The typical ancient form of footwear of this area was le cioce. It is a type of open sandal with a curiously shaped curved toe. It is thought to date back to Etruscan times. It was commonly worn by local peasants and shepherds.  It was strapped to the foot and calf, over cotton stockings, by a criss-cross of leather straps which are fastened just below the knee. Thus this region of Ciociaria takes its name from the Cioce which have become a typical symbol of the area. This footware is thought to date back to the Latins or Etruscans. In his book of the Aeneid, the roman poet Virgil wrote about warriors from this area that wore “a rough leather shoe”.

The Traditional Costume of Atina

Below are some photos of the traditional costume of Atina. There was a particular costume that was worn solely on special occasions.

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

A photo of two women dressed in the typical costume of Atina with Guglielmo Visocchi and his wife at the Cartiera (Paper Factory)

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

Below is the typical style of dress of the local country folk of Atina.

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

A wonderful photo of the Frezza, Mancini and Caira families of the Settignano district of Atina.

photo courtesy of Franck Vieira

Ciociaria in Art

Due to extreme poverty many of the people from Ciociaria were forced to emigrated to start new lives in faraway lands.  Some from the Val di Comino found work as models for artists in the European cities of Rome, Paris and London.  Indeed during the 19th century and the early 1900’s there were many “romantic”paintings produced depicting the typical colourful costumes and lifestyle of the country-folk of this region. The models from the Val di Comino were particularly admired for their grace and beauty and were much sought after by many well known artists and sculptors of that period. Below are some examples.

La Conca and La Tina of Ciociaria

In times gone by there were typical types of vessel that were commonly used for transporting water in Ciociaria. These were often carried on the head:

La Conca :  This item takes its name from the Italian word conca which means a hollow cavity in the ground. It is a concave container made of copper.  It had a rather wide and has a wide funnelled opening at the top and two handles.

La Tina : This has a different more rounded bulbous shape with a significantly narrower neck, to lessen the possibility of spillage when carrying liquids up or downhill.

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

The Zampogna

The Zampogna is a type of reeded bag-pipe typically played by shepherds of Ciociaria. The air sacks are made of tanned goat or sheep skin, which are turned inside out.  The flutes are commonly carved of olive wood. The ciaramella or piffero is another reed instrument, rather like an oboe, which has a loud and somewhat piercing sound. During the Christmas season the shepherds would come down to the valley to play their traditional festive music to herald pending birth of the Christ child.

Italian musicians playing the zampogna and ciaramella

* Men playing a zampogna and a ciaramella

A Zampogna Player of Ciociaria
Boy playing a Zampogna

In the nearby village of Villa Latina is a museum and workshop dedicated to the musical instrument la zampogna.

Each year the Festival della Zampogna is held in Villa Latina. This year’s festival is due to be held on the 23 September 2017.

Festival della Zampogna in Villa Latina Val di Comino Italy

Metalwork

The blacksmiths of Atina have been known for their great skill in metal work.  This dates from as far back as pre-Roman times, when they were experts in forging weaponry for armies. Local blacksmiths are also known for their decorative wrought iron work.  Examples of their craftmanship can still be found all around the town. In addition work in copper is also very typical (see the conca above).

Other traditional crafts include basket-making using wicker or plant fibres, pottery, woodwork, stone masonry, decorative woollen carpet-making, embroidery and lace-making.

Italian Heart

Photos have been accredited to the photographer / owner.  Images marked * are in the Public Domain.

Photos marked with  are believed to be in the Public Domain due of their age.

All other photos I have taken myself –  © Louise Shapcott