Matthews entry Oct 2014
Postcards from Naples
Naples 15 - At least this one looks like a real
postcard, probably written by an Italian from
elsewhere. The Italian reads (to the extent that I
can decipher it):
The use of scommuniche (lit.
They don't care about getting excommunicated) and predicare
la nuova omelia (lit. 'preach the new homily')
leads me to this approximate translation:
12/4/99 - Come vedi i
Napoletani se ne infischiano di certe
scommuniche. Sempre allegri! e fanno lezione.
Chi volesse predicare la nuova omelia qui
finirebbe a mare. Quanti forestieri
quest'anno. Ciao, (signed).
I also wonder if a clergyman wrote
April 12, 1899 - As you
see, Neapolitans carry on with wild abandon.
Always happy and they really go at it. Try to
get them to change their ways and you'll wind up
in the sea. A lot of foreigners this year. Ciao,
The card, itself, is not colored (as
it might have been) and is a perfectly awful
presentation of a group dancing the tarantella (so
labeled as n. 125 in a series). The woman, front and
center, scares me. The instrumentation is typical:
contrabass, a clarinet, some violins, tambourines,
and a mandolin. One interesting instrument is being
played by the sixth person from the left. It's hard
to see and it looks like a collection of three
pipes, but it's not; it is, in fact, a percussion
instrument called the triccaballacca—a
clapper. It has three percussive mallets mounted on
a base, the outer two of which are hinged at the
base and are moved in to strike the central piece;
the rhythmic sound is produced by the clicking of
wood on wood and the simultaneous sound of the
small metal disks—called "jingles"— mounted on the
instrument. (More on folk instruments at this link.)
The dance? Everything I know about the tarantella
is at this link.
It may be more than you want to know.
to all portals & series