Page 1 - MATTANZA_2010
P. 1

Mattanza: The Ritual Killing of T una in Sicily
                                                                                                  Rob van Ginker                                        ·

                                                                                                                              W e are history, we' re making history,
                                                                                                                           with our nine centuries of tradition and
                                                                                                                                   our nets with six million knots.
                                                                                                                                          rais Gioacchino Cataldo 1
                               q a_br,·~H~  r1uv.ot~~ M~ {eoi-)

                                  t-o-z..;~'  t(J  IM.f\A~ t>&)  {.;v\.CVL(  •

                                                                                                      In present-day  Europe,  the public  spilling  of animai  blood
                                                                                                  would seem to arouse the indignation and disgust of many observers
                                                                                                  and a wider audience. For example, clubbing seal pups to death for
                                                                                                  their pelts is  generally deemed unacceptable; many condemn the
                                                                                                  Spanish bullfight as a cruel tourist spectacle and hunting animals
                                                                                                  such as grouse, fox, deer and pheasant for sport or leisure meets with
                                                                                                  fierce opposition. One could argue that this isso because there is no
                                                                                                  nutritional 'need' to do so. But killing animals in public to procure
                                                                                                  food  is  also  increasingly contested. As  French ethnologist Noelie
                                                                                                  Vialles (1994) lucidly describes, killing and butchering animals has
                                                                                                  been removed from the public eye to slaughterhouses hidden in pe-
                                                                                                  ripheral areas. In rural Europe, the slaughtering of domestic animals
                                                                                                  for private use continued to be of considerable importance much
                                                                                                  longer, but the practice has been on the wane for decades now. The
                                                                                                  vacuum-sealed chunks of meat and fish we buy in supermarkets are
                                                                                                  hardly recognisable as once life animals. Nonetheless, there are stili
                                                                                                  places where onlookers can observe killing animals and even feel at-
                                                                                                  tracted to do so, despite- or perhaps even because of- the spilling of
                                                                                                  animai blood.

                                                                                                      * Department ofSociology and Anthropology- University of Amsterdam,
                                                                                                  Oudezijds Achterburgwal  185,  1012 DK Amsterdam, The Netherlands-
                                                                                                      1  Transcription of interview for Tonnara (Hope 2002).

   1   2   3   4   5   6