Riserva Orientata Zingaro

Riserva Orientata Zingaro

Riserva Orientata Zingaro

THE TRADITIONS

This territory has always been habited by man since the Paleolithic period as it is witnessed by archeological excavations done in the prehistoric grotto of the Uzzo, and where it is possible today to see the traces of the relationship between man and land.

The ash groves, the almond groves, the rests of the vineyards already become wild, the fruit trees savouring of old taste, long time ago resources for men who lived there, are now part of the agricultural landscape.

 The palmet (chamaerops humilis), which is today the symbol of the Reserve, represented once the most important income together with the Ampelodesma. It was used not only for everyday handmade articles as bags, mats, strings, hats, brushes, and fans to poke the fire, etc. but also the leaves, picked up in summer, were sold to the nearer town vegetable horsehair industries which marketed it in all Europe; while the Ampelodesma  was sold for the tunny-fishing nets.

To revalue the traditions of the Zingaro Reserve in the tableland of Borgo Cusenza, it has been cultivated old variety of wheat( biancolilla, russia, tummina, bili).

In autumn the soil is ploughed with a wooden plough pulled by a mule. In winter the wheat is sown. At the end of June or the beginning of July the reaping is done: the messoria sickle is the protagonist of this event. The reapers gripping this old sickle and other agricultural tools in their hand brush up memories of past wisdom.

The particular school of the weaving of vegetable fibres is a feather in the Reserve to recover the traditions. Clever weavers work the palmet, the cane and the olive tree, the reed, the ferula and the wheat stem; all the handmade products are exhibited at the visitor centre of the Reserve.

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