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Ancient jobs

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Many ancient island crafts and therefore Forian activity centered around the wine production that over the years committed the majority of the population. It was specialized activities, carried out by the a real culture of gear, precise gestures and wise, as in the case of coopers, the master, or stallholders, the canestrai, even rituals, as evidenced for example by nevaioli


  • Work shops

  • Craft and seasonal vendors

  • The art of weaving

Along the country roads opened several shops, often narrow and crowded full of objects and tools, where craftsmen spent their days intent on their work.
Among the most popular shop workers, in addition to the master cooper, whose tells the section devoted to viticulture, included the master shoemaker, the watchmaker and stagnaro.
The stagnaro,The stagnaro, or tinker, was a craftsman, handyman, to whom were worn tools as diverse as the pump to spray copper sulphate to the hoe to the pan, also built the pipes of the houses and on the occasion he was also glazier.
An original figure was that of the packer packs. His shop was full of paper, cardboard and string. There were addressed, among other things, the people who wanted to send a package to the family emigrated to America. It was necessary to first choose the appropriate container to avoid paying too much: the content were wrapped with foil and tied with string, the package was closed along the edges with glue by mixing flour and boiling water.

In addition to the craftsmen who worked in their shops, there were other figures of street vendors, who enlivened the forian streets and offering products or services. It was mostly male figures, rarely were women. An exception was the capèra, who went from house to house to comb older women. Other job related to walking hair was that of females capellaro femmine who moved from house to house in the country with a shoulder bag announcing his presence to the cry of “Who want a female Capellaro?”: the man buying women’s hair specially who cut them or patiently gathered those lost in exchange for a few euros needed to buy clothes or anything else.
Given the widespread poverty, very important were the“tanners”, ble to adjust various objects that many could not afford to buy.
Among these the conciapiatti or conciatiane that often were alsoconciaombrelli. The women turned to him especially to repair broken clay dishes. The conciapiatti remitted together the fragments sewing them together with iron yarn that did pass through holes drilled in precise points with the drill; clutching both ends of the iron with the pliers and finally covering the holes with clay applied with the fingers so as to hide any sign of suture.
Thegrinder went around with his cart, he stopped in the streets and attracted the attention of the inhabitants to the cry of "It is the grinder" and turning on his boneshaker. Soon arriving the grinder there was a a crowd of merely curious or people carrying knives or scissors to be sharpened.
The vendors often roamed the country only once a year, as the seller of straw, which bore their cart pulled by a mule to sell straw for the sack, ie corn leaves with which they filled the bags of beds , mattresses than once, called in the local dialect e’ sbreglie.
The man who sold the sea net came in the spring in a wicker basket holding under his arm, said spasella, wore sea algae similar to lettuce leaves, used for its healing properties.
Thebasketers, weaving plant materials, realized various objects, including the typical basket, also called canisto, coverings, bottles and carboys, hoods and cufanelle, women carried baskets on their heads filled with vegetables or vegetables used for the transport and sale of snow. Even today the island baskets are constructed using traditional techniques handed down from generation to generation. Each basket has a specific function: nassella, in the local dialect 'u nassiell, is a kind of drop-shaped tray made with chestnut branches and broom and twisted willow branches to keep the board, which is used for drying in the sun figs or tomatoes, another example is thecufaniello ‘e ll’acene, made of branches of myrtle and olive trees, which serves as a filter during winemaking.
A seasonal job and stallholder was that one of nevaioli or nevaiuoli, existing until the first decades of the last century. Workers were involved in the collection and sale of snow that fell during the winter in the woods at the foot of the Falanga Epomeo. In the event of heavy snowfall, the auctioneer played the tofa, a large shell, to summon the nevaioli who gathered in the center of the village of Fontana (Fontanesi were in fact the real masters in this business) wearing the traditional costume: trousers in bottle green, velvet breeches, long socks of cotton, heavy shoes, jerkin of brown cloth, wool cap. Armed with shovels, hoods and sticks, then went into the woods, where, after a bonfire with wood collected in shelters dug in the tufa rocks, collecting snow and hail and treading with sticks piled in of pits dug in the ground, and finally covered the hole with leaves of chestnut trees, dead wood and soil.
After the work, the nevaioli gathered around the fire to consume the meal of soup, boiled beans, salami, bread and light wine.
Even today, crossing the forest of Falanga, you can see the mass of snow, also known as “neviere”, and temporary shelters dug in the rocks of green tuff functional semi-rural seasonal activities, such as just the collection of snow or cutting of wood used to support the backs of the screws. In the cavity, the snow kept until the arrival of summer, when it was sold in exchange for a few cents to make ice cream to cool drinks, especially wine. The collection and sale of snow during the summer months, a respected real ritual: the nevaioli, who were often ciucciari, pick the snow from it and carried on the backs of mules faster wrapped in cloth inside casings of reed lined and covered with chestnut leaves; once arrived in the towns of the different houses of the island, ran through the streets shouting "whites, 'snow', nevaiuoli.
The snow collection on Epomeo, along with wine, meat and bread, was offered by the islanders to King Ferdinand IV on the occasion of his first visit to the island in July 1783. Some resolutions conserved in the municipality of Forio from the last decades of the nineteenth prove the existence of a duty on the sale of snow, an entry that was not always guaranteed, however, as not every winter snowfall occurred on Epomeo.

The art of weaving has ancient origins and over the years, becoming more and more wealth of the few, for the lack of interest of the younger generation.
On the island of Ischia, before machining, the vegetable materials, used for the plot, are subjected to various treatments, which, depending on the material, provide for the defoliation, the decortication, which serves to give a different color or even cut into thin strips.
Once completed this preliminary work, the material is treated with sulfur vapor, which frees them from parasites and bleaching.
Once completed this preliminary work, the material is treated with sulfur vapor, which frees them from parasites and bleaching. For Palm Sunday, before the Easter holidays, intertwine hold palm leaves, which are exchanged as a sign of peace..

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