A muntagna e i ficurinia
Description by the artist
A muntagna (The mountain as Etna is called by Sicilians) and i ficurinia (Sicilian for prickly pears ) are two inseparable elements in the vision of a Sicilian. Stole or piece of furniture, you choose how to make it live. As a stole you wear it, as a decorative panel, you take it to a framer to have it framed and create your own decorative panel. The peculiarity, of Batik painted fabrics is that the front and back are the same. Pure silk hand painted with Batik technique, eco friendly colors indelible to water and light. Dry clean.
Details and dimensions
The artwork in the Sicilian culture
L’OPERA D’ARTE NELLA CULTURA SICILIANA The cultivation of silkworms in Sicily, or rather of the mulberry tree, has very ancient origins in Sicily, dating back even to the Arab period (9th century). It was one of the most profitable activities for Sicily, it even competed with Chinese production and gave life to its own style: “Sicilian silk”. It saw its peak around 1600 with Messina that became one of the world capitals for the production of silk, which was used mainly for the production of precious clothes, velvet and fabrics used for sacred vestments. Families, monks and nuns were intent on the cultivation of the silkworm which produced the precious silk. They obtained skeins that were often colored (for example, the color purple was very popular among the rich) and exported through galleys that departed from the Strait of Messina. Slowly this activity decayed, until it disappeared completely after the war.
Etna, the highest volcano in Europe (3300 meters above sea level), imperiously dominates the eastern part of Sicily, but it is so huge that it can be seen up to hundreds of kilometers away. Men of all ages have climbed to the top starting with the philosopher Empedocle from Agrigento (V B.C.) who, according to legend, ended his life by throwing himself into it. The toponym (Aitna) seems to derive from some word whose etymology, leads back to the meaning “I burn”. For the Arabs of Sicily (IX-XI century) it was a mountain twice as high and they called it Mons (mount) Gebel (mountain), twice a mountain; and until the recent past (but also today) the Sicilians called it Mongibello. But its Sicilian name par excellence is: “a muntagna”. It has given work to the nivalori (that they collected the snow, they preserved it in the caves of the volcano and then they sold it in the villages), to the coalmen, to the gatherers of the Ginestra (excellent for the bakers).
Prickly pears are one of the great symbols of Sicily. They grow everywhere: on the sides of cliffs, in gardens, on the roofs of abandoned houses, on the sides of roads … Its fruit (ripe by the end of August) is delicious and much loved by Sicilians who also make rosoli and mostarda, a sweet typically prepared in jars, with the addition of carnations, cinnamon and almonds. Gelo is also very appreciated, a sort of gelatinous cream. Prickly pears were imported by Arabs during their domination (IX-XI century).
(photo) Sicilian women working silk