There is an ancient craft tradition that characterises the land of Calabria: whether they are luthiers or master weavers, the wise use of hands leads to real masterpieces that deserve to be preserved and handed down from generation to generation.
I liutai e la lira calabrese
The art of the luthier was an artisanal practice handed down from father to son, an art to be preserved and disseminated to keep the tradition alive. A typical instrument is the battente guitar, first produced in 1500, where not picks are used, but hands are run on the strings to create a “ribunnu”, which is a rumble. The origin of the Calabrian Lira is also very ancient, which was imported by Greek and Byzantines, having become and important element of regional popular music.
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The craftsmanship of Calabria has very ancient roots: it is in fact the testimony of famous civilisations such as the Greek and Byzantine that leads to this conclusion, as well as its close relation to local peasant life.
The intertwining of traditions
The hands of Calabrian workers know how to weave with great patience and concentration. Since ancient times, they have used cane sticks and willow branches to obtain baskets, in dialect “panari”, “sporte”, “sporteja”, or even “cannistre” in Greek-Calabrian, depending on their shape or size. Today they are used as fruit, mushroom, or chestnut containers, but given the artisan and precious preoduction, they are given as a sign of good omen. Unfortunately, opposed by the Chinese market, the production of these wonderful objects has been declining for several years. A renowned centre for the production of handmade wicker baskets, even if it is part of Vibonese greenhouses and not of the Reggio territory, is Soriano Calabro, a beautiful village that also has a very important cultural history.