Grecia Salentina: Challenges and Conservation of Heritage

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Challenges and conservation of tangible and intangible heritage in historic centres: the case study of Grecia Salentina (Apulia Region, Italy)

Presented during the VIVA EAST Thematic Seminar on Intangible Heritage, Cahul, Republic of Moldova, Sept. 2012

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Grecia Salentina: Challenges and Conservation of Heritage

  1. 1. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres: GRECÌA SALENTINAApulia Region - ITALY.Gianni Manco. gianni.manco@u-space.it
  2. 2. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. Im an architect but I will not speak about architectural projects, I’m also a planner but do not present any Master Plan, I would rather tell you about the Grecìa Salentina A case study where a territory has radically changed its economy, improving it greatly. In my view it has put in place a genuine appreciation of the "intangible heritage“, without affecting its identity.
  3. 3. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. WHAT IS THE GRECÌA SALENTINA It is a Greek- speaking island located in the southern Apulia region, the Salento, in the province of Lecce, and consisting of nine municipalities where a dialect known as neo-greek grecanico or Grìko
  4. 4. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. THE GRECÌA SALENTINA It is located in Italy, in the southern Puglia region inside of SALENTO
  5. 5. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. Since 1990, the term Grecìa Salentina has become the expression of UNION of municipalities formed pursuant to Article .32 of Legislative Decree no. Aug. 18, 2000, 267, also sponsored by the European Union and including the nine Hellenic-speaking municipalities: Calimera, Castrignano dei Greci, Corigliano d’Otranto, Martano, Martignano, Melpignano, Soleto, Sternatia, Zollino In 2007, two other non Hellenic- speaking municipalities were added to the nine original members of the UNION: Carpignano Salentino , Cutrofiano.
  6. 6. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. Currently, the reference population is 54.278 inhabitants Union, which is one of the largest for this type of entity. The Italian Parliament has recognized the Greek community in Salento as a distinct ethnic group and a linguistic minority as "linguistic minority grìca the Etnies Grìco-salentina."
  7. 7. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. What is the UNION • It is a new local authority with statutory autonomy within the principles laid down by the Constitution, Rules European Community, State and Regional • Its task is to promote the integration of administrative power between municipalities and coordinate their policies and program development in the area, improving the quality of services provided to citizens, and at the same time developing economies of scale.
  8. 8. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. The history, the culture, the Popular Traditions of the Grecìa Salentina “immaterial driving force” for economic revival of a territory otherwise voted to emigration
  9. 9. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. In the second half of the last century, in the absence of an extensive industrial and service sectors the only economic resources derived from agriculture and pastoralist. But the agriculture, because the lack of water for the irrigation (Apulia is a region with almost no rivers) allowed only the minimum subsistence. For these reasons, the post-war period until the early 70’s of the last century, the Grecìa Salentina, among the Italian regions, was that a higher rate of emigration to the Foreign, especially Switzerland and Germany
  10. 10. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. Today the Grecìa Salentina, is a pole of attraction for the tourist and cultural presence of various traditions and customs related to three elements of identity: • language, • The territory and the architecture • The popular traditions
  11. 11. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. GRÌKO LANGUAGE • Today, the majority of studies, they believe, in all probability, that the language is still spoken in the centers of Grecìa Salentina, dates back to the IX-X century A.D. when the Byzantines managed to reconquer large areas of southern Italy, removing the Lombards and Arabs. • After the unification of Italy (1860-61), the rigid bureaucracy Savoy created a rift within the southern linguistic heritage. Grìko, once used equally by all, was now becoming a "shame," the language of the "common people ignorant of the peasants”
  12. 12. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. GRÌKO LANGUAGE • For several years the Greek language was rediscovered and in many countries of Grecìa Salentina, there is a plethora of initiatives aimed at safeguarding its cultural and linguistic heritage • This is made through the efforts of individual citizens, municipal government, and also thanks to the interest of the Greek Government that sends teachers of mother tongue in schools of Greece, to teach courses comparative Grìko and Modern Greek
  13. 13. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. Grecìa Salentina : The landscape and the architecture The area of ​Grecìa Salentina is rich in documenting the history of its people. Remained etched in the territory, the signs of aging and history, allow us to gather the various elements that characterize its historical and cultural individuality.
  14. 14. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. Dolmen, Menhir, Specchie The Dolmen from Breton Tal (table) and Men (stone) is constituted by a horizontal slab of stone (plaka in grìko) which rests on “pietrafitte”, usually three, driven into the ground. Of archaic origin, is the first example of a tomb built by man on the Salento area. The Menhir from Breton Men (stone) and Hir (long) “pietrafitta” is a rectangular section of rough stone, driven into the soil. Costituited from a single block of stone, is up to five meters high, is attributed to the Iron Age. Often located at the crossroads of ancient roads has the face wider faces the sun, which suggests a religious monument. The “Specchia” from the Latin Specula (Segla in grìko), probably Messapic origin, is an artificial mound made ​of stones of different forms, is about ten meters high “Specchie” had a double function, were places of worship, tombs of warriors but also points of view because they are situated on higher ground than the surrounding area.
  15. 15. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. Messapi and Romans Created the first villages. The territory is inhabited by Messapi, people come from the Balkans in the seventh century BC, the first documented population of the Salento. They were succeeded by the Romans and the marks left by Rome in Grecìa notice the toponomastica, the centurions and milestones.
  16. 16. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. Rock dwellings The collapse of Rome leads to the abandonment of the city. We return to the restricted forms of aggregation. Creation of the civilization of caves and cave settlements characterize large areas of the Puglia, especially near the gravine. Salento in the rock dwellings are not located in large urban settlements but they are isolated and are almost always underground. They go early Christian symbols, crosses, Greek and Latin, Saracen ships.
  17. 17. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. Byzantine arts: The Crypts In the Crypts develops the art of painting, mainly due to Basilian monks fled to the Salento following the iconoclastic struggle. Byzantine art is not only expressed in the settlements but are frescoed tombs and crypts are built churches dedicated to saints of Eastern origin.
  18. 18. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. Dry construction Pozzelle - Neviere The Byzantines organize this territory as a province of the empire. The agricultural landscape is transformed: dry stone walls bordering the property, dry construction (furnieddhi) pyramid-shaped and truncated cones that make up the house of farmers, are spreading in the country of Greece Salentina. Often around buildings creates an enclosure for animals. Natural depressions in the ground, a series of tanks, the Pozzelle, collect and store rainwater filtered and enriched with salts through the soil drainage. The Pozzelle solve the problem in an ingenious water supply. The Neviere construction “ipogee”, allow you to keep for the summer, the snow that fell during the winter.
  19. 19. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. Frantoi Ipogei (underground oil production tools) The Frantoi ipogei were used in the Grecìa Salentina from ‘400 to ‘900. Sculpted in the tender calcareous rocs, the crushers preserve the oil to constant temperature. Inside the Crushers in the past living the “frantoiani”, consorting with the work animals necessary to roll the “machine”.
  20. 20. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. Closed farms- Castle Rural factory “Masserie” fortressed After the assault of Otranto city in 1480 the closed farms are reinforced, sourrounded by walls, and, in order to face the new fire artillery, the defensive systems are modified. Starting 1550 in the rural areas were built defensive farms, with span, “caditoie”, removable stairs, underground escape ways. They were meant to resist attacks of pirates coming from the low Adriatic Sea.
  21. 21. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. Convent Urban church Extra-urban church After the Trento Council, the Roma Papal strengthened their presence on the territory by build a network of convents, The urban curch almost all to byzantine origin, have been rebuilt in the The urban church, almost all of byzantine and medieval origin are rebuild particularly for intervention of baroque style. Extra-urban church represent the meeting and socialization points of small rural communities, for example “masserie”.
  22. 22. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. Traditional court – houses • The typical greek-of Salento is never in contact with the road: a portal is separated from this by entering into a yard (square or rectangular) which, together with the houses the house to court house (reminiscent of the "Megaron" of ancient Greece), including a well in joint, the back garden, stables, sheepfolds, chicken coops. • The house, almost always on the ground floor, was built with the use of local stone (called “pietra leccese”), and the walls were whitewashed and the floor was made of polished slabs of stone. • In the inside courtyard (avlì in Griko), where you play many domestic work, is also the center of interpersonal relationships. It represents, for the countries of Grecìa, a big moment of socialization and exchange.
  23. 23. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. The Barocco Style Next to construction of the peasants, there are also palaces, initially in the Renaissance style and then later in the Baroque style. These buildings are facilitated by the use of supple local stone, the typical local stone quarries mined near Melpignano, Cursi, Zollino cities, which is suitable to be processed by the expert hands of master stonecutters.
  24. 24. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY.
  25. 25. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. THE TARANTISMO AND THE MUSIC IN SALENTO • The “tarantola or taranta” is a poisonous spider which bite has originated the term “pizzica” (the translation of bite in italian). • The bite of the spider provoke an hepilectic syndrome, which is similar to the way people dance. • People dancing “pizzica” is taken by a phycological frustration, that normally taken emargineted and in that epoch women, which could also mimate a sexual amplex during this phenomena which now is a dance. • To solve this drama people needs an exorcisme made also with musical instruments such as violin, drums and so on.
  26. 26. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. The patient (tarantata) danced for many hours in prey epilepsy caused by poison, until exhausted, fall heavily to the ground unconscious, thus being able to rest temporarily. For decades, we are no longer talking about “tarantate “ and rites of exorcism; regarded as synonymous with backwardness and shame, have been removed and forgotten. Today “tarantism” is essentially gone, there is only a very rich cultural heritage made ​of songs, legends, music and words. Apulian tarantism was born in the Middle Ages and was maintained until the end of the 700 starting its decline in the next century. The instrument used to accompany the ritual of the dance is the local tambourine who is played by giving the basic rhythm. Sheet is formed around the circle in the middle of which, with a very basic technique you can dance the dance of the “pizzica”.
  27. 27. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. The festival The night of Taranta The Festival is a project moved up to the municipality union of the Grecìa Salentina, in the 1998 they decide to realise,within the language greek area, a big concert. The aim of this project s the aim to link the folkloristic music with the other traditional music and then to obtain a new form of music composition . This initiative still develop during the last 14 years and today have achieved an important roles in national and international ambit
  28. 28. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. During the august month each year they are a Festival appointed by several concert in all the Grecìa Salentina Union and thousandth tourist choiche the Salent as a destination for there holiday. The Salento region as become, in the last years, the tourist destination more attractrive for the italian paople, tanks to the cultural and touristic opportunity offered by the Grecìa Salentina Also this years over than 100.000 spectator have been attended to the final concert of the Taranta festival they are each year at the end of august.
  29. 29. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. The “The night of Taranta” Foundation play in concert over all the world tiene concerti in tutto il mondo, from Pechino to Moscow, New York, Los Angeles, Sidney. The Taranta dance today livened dencing school and are becoming a mass artistic phenmenon.
  30. 30. Challenges and conservation of Intangible Heritage in minor historic centres GRECÌA SALENTINA Apulia Region - ITALY. The Union of municipality of the Grecìa Salentina There are disclose as a winner card game of the project wich in less than twenty years, have been promote, trought the Grìko and the Taranta, the tradition of a territory very reach in terms of history and tradition, but ignored and in abandoned state. . Today the Grecìa Salentina region, have achieved a more important turistic appeal, at the same time carry on they cultural identity. Thanks for your attention.

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