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Cian ciane

Coffa bags Curina Leather Various materials
Single artwork


Description by the artist

For a long time I wanted to make a coffa bag that symbolized the folklore of my land: ponpon, mirrors, colorful passementerie that evoke in my mind the image of the Sicilian carts pulled by horses adorned with the cian ciane(Sicilian for bells) in the festivities of the patron saints that I have included in my work. The curina is the most tender part of the dwarf palm plant. Front external lining in metallic lycra, back external lining patchwork rebrodè lace and jersey with typical Sicilian pattern, red satin lining and jersey clutch, short handles covered with green velvet ribbon and adjustable shoulder strap. Bottom with golden metal feet, central medallion with golden metal mirror, acrylic stones with bezel, cotton thread ponpon, passementerie with small onions and various brass inserts.

Details and dimensions

Dimensions (cm): Height 25, Width 45
Weight (kg): 0.300
Handcrafted in Sicily

The artwork in the Sicilian culture

By the Governance of Sicilian Artisan Foundation

The coffa siciliana is a basket made with the weaving of the curina, the heart of the dwarf palm. The coffa bags were used to put the fodder or bran to give to the horse or donkey, in this case it was tied by the handles to the head of the animal.The coffa was also used by farmers for sowing, while the larger one called zimmili was used to carry the harvest of the day, or the wood to bring home, or even to put inside a small child and keep him  warm . This object brings us back to the middle of 1300 when the Aragonese ruled Sicily. A certain Guglielmo Buccheri, a hermit then beatified, was called cuffitedda because he used to carry the coffa over his shoulder. Today, the coffa has become a fashion accessory for women: you can find a folkloristic bag decorated with chimes and mirrors that recalls the harnesses of the horses of Sicilian carts, or embellished with embroidery and lace, it becomes an evening bag.

(photo) Sicilian women making coffa sat outside a house, in a small village in the inland of Sicily, 1950

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