MUSEUM OF POPULAR ANTHROPOLOGY BETWEEN THE HIGH MURGIA AND THE FOSSA BRADANICA
Text by Giuseppe Schinco, translated by Alastair Small
All the objects are arranged on an itinerary which testifies to the work of men and women in a countryside where agricultural activity predominates but where there was also craftsmanship, sometimes of artistic quality. The exhibition, in short, begins with the theory that history is not written only by bishops, princes and warriors, but also by simple women and men with their struggles and their daily fatigue. It proposes to tell the story of their lives.
A short history of the collection
Peppino Schinco began his collection in the ‘70s, recovering all the working tools which were stored in the masseria on his property. These were the years in which the agriculture of Gravina was undergoing major transformations: the new technologies were changing ancient customs leading to the decay of building structures and the elimination of tools which had been used up to that time. It was easy for someone passionate about human anthropology to acquire tools which the contadini no longer wanted from local traders. When the collection reached a considerable consistency, Schinco decided to ask the local authority to provide a suitable space for a permanent exhibition of the material in his possession. He was assigned a building which had been constructed for the market in Via San Vito Vecchio, where the collection was enriched by pieces acquired from the second-hand dealer Bosco. At the same time, the Centre for the Study and Documentation of the world of the Contadino was born, involving other friends. All the material (but not the ownership of it) was assigned to the Centre so as to form a Human-anthropological Museum of the territory of Gravina. Under the administration of Valente, some corridors in the ex-convent of San Domenico were assigned to the Association with a view to developing a Museo della Civiltà Contadina there. These rooms had been used inappropriately for an intermediate level school and had suffered several acts of vandalism, traces of which can still be seen. All the superficial additions were removed at the expense of the Association, leaving where possible the architectural features of the ancient structure. And, again at the expense of the Association, and within the limits of the scarse funds available, an interesting exhibition/museum was organized which was visited by scholars and numerous schools from Gravina and beyond for its educational purpose. This is its history to date.
THE STRUCTURE OF THE EXHIBITION:
SECTOR I: TRANSPORT
2 carts drawn by animals, with related equipment
1 hand-pulled cart
3 yokes for oxen
3 yokes for mules
1 box with ornamental elements for harnesses
SECTOR II: – WORK IN THE FIELDS
CULTIVATION OF CEREALS, VEGETABLES AND VINE
2 Ploughs with long handles
2 Iron ploughs
Some accessories for ploughs
1 Plough for working in the vineyard
II Ploughing and sowing
1 Plough with short handle
2 Iron ploughs
Spring working of the soil
2 Ploughs with coulters
1 horse-drawn clod-breaker
SECTOR III: FROM THE GRAIN TO THE BREAD
SECTOR IV: STOCKRAISING
SECTOR V: CRAFTS
1. – Knife-grinder
C.2. – Cooper
C.3. – Shoemaker
C.4. – Quarrier
C.5. – Tinker/plate mender
C.6. – Cabinet maker
C.7. – Blacksmith
C.8. – Axeman
C.9. – Builder/Mason
C.10. – Stone dresser
C.11. – Saddler
C.12. – Potter
SECTOR VI: THE HOUSE, GAMES
MIRIZZI F. Storie di oggetti Scritture di musei, Edizionidipagina, Bari, 2008, pp. 126-140.
Fogli di periferie Anno 1 n° 2.
Fogli di periferie Anno 6 n° 2.
SQUEO A. Società civile, paesaggio urbano e agrario nella Gravina del XVIII, Bari, 1983.
LOPERFIDO E., Il mestiere del sellaio, Matera, 2008.
PATERNOSTER D., La collezione Schinco a Gravina: esempi di schedatura informatizzata, Matera, 2007.
VITUCCI F., Il mestiere del fabbroferraio a Gravina in Puglia, Matera, 2009.