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Coffa bags Brass Fabric Passementerie
Single artwork


Description by the artist

The “Nereide” coffa bag was upholstered with a canapone-like fabric and decorated with cotton and lurex trimmings. Mirrors and bells are in gilded brass. The flowers are handmade, petal by petal.
Each bag s entirely handmade, and has its own shape and decoration and that is why it will never be the same as another.

Details and dimensions

Dimensions (cm): Height 30, Width 22
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

The Governance also suggests

The objective of the Governance is both to safeguard the traditions and ancient crafts of the people of Sicily, and to sustain economically the Artisans and the Artists, both the real ethno-anthropologists of the country.
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