Why Tarantolati?



Why Tarantolati? The legend of a spider and its dance: tarantolato is the one who has been bitten by the tarantula of Puglie and becomes affected by tarantolism. TARANTOLISM or TARANTISM is a variety of hysterical korea in medicine with manifestations similar to that of chorea saltoria which was once attributed, due to the puncture of the Apulian tarantolata. Tarantula delle Puglie is the common name of the Lycosa tarentula, precisely because its bite was considered the cause of tarantolism until the nineteenth century. The tarantula of the pangs lives by day enclosed in its burrow dug underground and at sunset it rises to the surface to wait for the prey to ambush. It was only later discovered that his bite in man causes only local edema and only rarely has he been dizzy and anxious. "Being bitten by the tarantula" is therefore said in the language common to those who are frantically agitated and find no rest.


La Pizzica - The pizzica music from the unbridled rhythm, with which the tarantato began to dance and sing for long hours until exhaustion. The belief, in fact, that while the tarantato consumed his energies in the dance, the taranta also consumed and suffered until his death. A scientific explanation has been discovered to the popular legend of this healing: in fact the convulsive dance, accelerating the heartbeat, favored the elimination of the poison, allowing to relieve the pain caused by the spider's bite. The legend tells that the therapy should be renewed every year: therefore the patient went, on the day of the saint's feast, to the chapel of San Paolo, where he reproduced on that day, without music, his own dance cycle. The phenomenon of tarantism as a historical and religious phenomenon characterized Southern Italy and above all Puglia and despite a slow decline in the nineteenth century, remained alive and widespread as a popular tradition in the towns of the province of Lecce, to the point of exploding into a wider rediscovery cultural, musical and territorial in recent years with events such as the night of the tarant de Melpignano, which brought international authors to the rediscovery of this musical form.


Search for the cure of tarantism - The search for the cure of tarantism in particular in Puglia since the Middle Ages, has generated a musical form and a dance called pizzica or tarantella and in this form has taken a strong link with religion and superstition of the territory, up to living one's life. Tradition has it and legends tell that the most frequent victims of tarantism were women, who during the harvest season, were harvesting the wheat and were most exposed to the bite of this spider. The popular therapy of tarantolism, which is usually performed at the home of the tarantolato, wants that through the music and the dance it was possible the healing to the tarantati, realizing almost a real exorcism of musical character. Whenever the tarantato exhibited the symptoms associated with tarantism: players of popular music with tambourine, violin, accordion, mouth organ and other musical instruments, played various popular motifs until they found the one that induced the tarantolato to dance, performing cycles of symbolic movements that allude to the particular type of tarantula from which he believes he has been "bitten": hence the music and the dance of the pizzica.



Via del Fosso, snc 

Lucugnano - Tricase - Lecce



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