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Vito Finocchiaro


Synthesis – My Sicily

Sicily, one of the most tangible examples of cultural and religious syncretism. The story, between folklore and religion, of a land with a primordial identity denied and whose current individuality is the result of the continuous metamorphoses caused by the dominations that took place on the island over the centuries.

A “multiple” individuality, a troubled history, the Sicilian one, in whose essence there is clearly a synthesis of the various cultures of the dominant foreign peoples: Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Arabs, Normans, Swabians, Angevins, Spaniards, Bourbons. A Syncretism, between faith and superstition, which has always influenced the people. Traditions, perpetually poised between past and present, which confirm the prominent role that religion plays on the island. Complex rites, loaded with contents and symbols, which have stratified during the ages. Some of these manifestations have the chrism of devotion, others are memories of pagan rituals. Picturesque celebrations to which the people show great respect and which respond to the natural need to externalize their feelings and beliefs together. Sacred and profane animate the life of the Sicilian people. Chaos, excitement, smells, colors converge in rituals that become real proofs of penance; gestures through which every single individual manages to unload their anxieties and to restore their balance.

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