The Heritage Community

The municipalities of Fontanarosa (AV), Flumeri (AV), Villanova del Battista (AV), Mirabella Eclano (AV), San Marco dei Cavoti (BN), Foglianise (BN), located along the southern Apennines, between Irpinia and Sannio, and the municipality of Jelsi in Molise, signed a protocol of understanding in 2015, recognizing themselves as a NETWORK HERITAGE COMMUNITY and highlighting the affinity of their festive rituals of significant ethno-anthropological, historical, religious, artistic and cultural interest.

The seven communal rituals are characterized by the presence of spectacular ceremonial machines called “traglie” (floats), “carri” (carriages) or “gigli” (vertical floats) dedicated to the celebration of wheat and offered as gifts to the Madonna or to other saints.

Regardless of the different types of devotional objects and the ceremonies related to them, the festive events of these communities can be traced back to a single ritual system in which the lowest common heritage denominator is always wheat. Precisely wheat, as an element of strong symbolic significance – also linked to the economic and social history of the entire Mediterranean basin – is the fundamental element from which the NEW NETWORK HERITAGE COMMUNITY is building its UNESCO application.

A network application based on the model of the “Italian shoulder carrying machines” application (Machine of Santa Rosa of Viterbo, Festa dei Gigli di Nola, Varia di Palmi, Faradda di li cadareri of Sassari) already registered on the UNESCO Intangible Heritage List since 2013.

A network application that could also extend beyond the borders of Campania, along the entire Apennines, both to the north, up to the Marche (Palmoli) passing through Lazio (Minturno) and Abruzzo (Campocavallo), and to the south, to Sicily, stopping in Basilicata (Lavello and Teana) where various ritual events also celebrate wheat.

A network application that could also extend beyond national borders by tracing and enhancing the ties of the communities of origin of the Campania festivals with the respective communities of emigrants in Australia, Canada, the United States, Venezuela, and Argentina where the tradition of festive machines and the value of wheat are elements of identity so heartfelt as to be sometimes celebrated simultaneously with the motherland.

Sign the online Petition AVAAZ:
UNESCO: Riconoscimento di bene immateriale dell’umanità a feste del grano in italia