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July In Craco Vecchio

July was another busy, but rewarding month for citizens of Craco Vecchio.

They were occupied with the heavy manual labour of threshing the grain harvested in the prior month and finalizing the cultivation of fave and ceci.

Threshing grain is the process of separating grains from the stalks of the plant called chaff. In the 1950s, mechanical threshers were introduced in the area although it was difficult to get these machines onto the farms due to a lack of roads and the hilly terrain.

By today’s standards it was a slow process which has now been replaced by the use self-propelled combines to comb swaths of wheat and spew the separated grain into trucks travelling alongside.

For the fave and ceci beans, horses were used to trample over the dried crops to separate the legume from the plant. Farmers then relied on the presence of a strong wind to blow away the plant and leave the edible legumes behind.

Some were dried to preserve them for use during the long winter.

Historic Dates in Craco

  • 1678 – Fra’ Giuseppe of Craco was elected the Provincial Priest of the monastery in Craco.
  • 1806 – a group of citizens including the farmers who wanted land, former soldiers, and Bourbons stood in opposition to the army of Napoleon .
  • 18 July 1807 – The band of briganti headed by Antonio Barberio killed Nicola Rigirone (28 years old, husband of Angiola Rinaldi), looted and robbed the town, and caused injuries to some citizens.
  • 1861 – Archimede Rigirone was appointed mayor, replacing Francesco Cammarota.
  • 25 July 1874 – Cappuccino, the Crachese briganti was killed in a barrage of fire in the territory of Padula.
  • 1944 – eight temporary policemen, Emanuele Pisciotta, Salvatore Spera (son of the late Domenico), Nicola Colabella (di Alfredo), Giuseppe Lerro (son of the late Gennaro), Salvatore Episcopia (di Francesco), Pietro D‘Elia (son of the late Antonio), Antonio Consoli, and Donato Spera (son of the late Donato). were hired to guard the grain harvest to avoid the theft of and the subsequent smuggling of agricultural produce
  • 1984 – first edition of Note Storiche sul Comune di Craco is published by Prof. Dino D’Angella in Italy.

LUGLIO A CRACO VECCHIO

Luglio era un mese altrettanto ricco di attività, particolarmente gratificante per tutti i cittadini di Craco Vecchio. Gli abitanti erano infatti occupati dal duro lavoro manuale di trebbiatura del grano raccolto durante il mese precedente, oltre a dover terminare la coltivazione di fave e ceci.

La trebbiatura del grano è il processo di separazione dei chicchi dal gambo della pianta, chiamato pula. Durante gli anni cinquanta del secolo scorso le trebbiatrici sono state introdotte per la prima volta nell’area lucana: nonostante ciò, la loro espansione è stata in un primo momento ridotta poichè era difficile riuscire a trasportare queste macchine fino alle fattorie a causa della mancanza di strade e per la presenza di un territorio particolarmente collinare.

Se comparato con gli standard del giorno d’oggi però, il loro funzionamento era caratterizzato ancora da un processo molto lento, che è stato poi sostituito da macchinari automotrici in grado di estrarre le bande di frumento e di far fuoriuscire il grano separato in appositi camions in movimento a lato della trebbiatrice.

Riguardo alle fave ed ai ceci, in passato venivano usati i cavalli per calpestare la pianta in modo da separarne i semi dal resto. In seguito i contadini hanno cominciato a sfruttare la presenza della forza del vento per suddividere la pianta, lasciando quindi i legumi commestibili.

Alcuni venivano seccati per essere poi conservati durante l’inverno.

Le date storiche di Craco

  • 1678 – Fra’ Giuseppe of Craco was elected the Provincial Priest of the monastery in Craco.
  • 1806 – a group of citizens including the farmers who wanted land, former soldiers, and Bourbons stood in opposition to the army of Napoleon .
  • 18 July 1807 – The band of briganti headed by Antonio Barberio killed Nicola Rigirone (28 years old, husband of Angiola Rinaldi), looted and robbed the town, and caused injuries to some citizens.
  • 1861 – Archimede Rigirone was appointed mayor, replacing Francesco Cammarota.
  • 25 July 1874 – Cappuccino, the Crachese briganti was killed in a barrage of fire in the territory of Padula.
  • 1944 – eight temporary policemen, Emanuele Pisciotta, Salvatore Spera (son of the late Domenico), Nicola Colabella (di Alfredo), Giuseppe Lerro (son of the late Gennaro), Salvatore Episcopia (di Francesco), Pietro D‘Elia (son of the late Antonio), Antonio Consoli, and Donato Spera (son of the late Donato). were hired to guard the grain harvest to avoid the theft of and the subsequent smuggling of agricultural produce
  • 1984 – first edition of Note Storiche sul Comune di Craco is published by Prof. Dino D’Angella in Italy.

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