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August 20, 2016

The Gigants Parade

Grifone

Grifone

Sicily, Ferragosto, its unknowed traditions and even more unexpected.La Vara,for the simple reason of his religious motive it was known. But I didn’t expect these giants parade. I tried to document myself before coming, but I didn’t find something like that. These sculptures with a very similar appearance with the Macedonian time .


Tradition

Two equestrian statues that were originally made of wood but are now pasteboard. They reach eight meters high are taken in procession from the 10 to 14 August followed by a parade of musicians with drums, trumpets and rhythm of old instruments of the zone like; “Brogna” and the “Ciaramedda” with several extras with dancing and improvising short performances along the way.

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In 1.993 the tradition was recovered after some intermittent appearances after year 1.908 tue to the Messina Earthquake. Since that time it has added a camel-shaped figure in the procession, which was burned at the end to symbolize the defeat of the invaders. In the 50s they made the legs of the animals fully and began to carry the giants on wheeled carts.


The Characters

Mata

Mata

Mata a beautiful lady from Camaro, a village near the wall of the city of Messina. It is recognized by its red and blue dress and wears the crown with three towers, symbolizing the three ports of the city. Mata’s head has gone through the hands of artists like Santi Siracusa (Siglo XVIII), Michele Amoroso and Mariano Grasso.


Grifone, the big bearded Muslim, dark-skinned, coming from Africa, warrior dress with a gray armor and a red cloak carrying a hammer in one hand and a shield in the other.La estatua de
Grifone statue, sculpted by Martino Montanini and then Andrea Calamech (Siglo XV).
Grifone

Grifone


The Legend

About the year 964 the muslim Hassam Ibn-Hammar landed on the coast of Messina to sack the areas between Camaro and Dinnamare.
Thus the meets and falls in love with Marta (Mata)
the daughter of King Cosimo II of Casteluccio. The father, rejected a first proposal of marriage. The parents of Mata hide her to avoid the marriage, but the men of Hassam find her. Mata as protest, she maintains an absolute silence, until the Muslim converts to Christianity adopting the name of Grifone. Both giants represent the mythical Peloritana lineage and its union prospered to the point of having many children, The Messineses.

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