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Thus, its transformation into a 'bloodthirsty' tourist spectacle has       believe that their customary practices lend the right to continuity. To
                   brought about some resistance against the mattanza, in that animai             them, the mattanza is not 'staged authenticity' (MacCannell973)-
                   right advocates now liken it to bullfìghting and call it 'a bloody per-        i t is 'work, ritual, religion and fìnally identity for Favignana' (Singer
                   formance for tourists'. 28  They argue that the tuna killing ritual has        1999:63). Nonetheless, its meaning has certainly changed:
                   lost its economie functions and should be abandoned. In their view,
                                                                                                      Although almost everything regarding this fìshing technique and its
                   the tradition has become 'outmoded' and should be discontinued.                    instruments has remained unchanged from the Middle Ages up to
                      The tonnaroti contest this view and point out that the mattanza is              today, one can't say the same about nowadays tonnare's inner sense
                   not about putting up a show but about a way of life that has ancient               and  importance  and  about  their protagonists.  What once was  a
                   roots and a deep symbolic meaning. Rais Cataldo counters: 'W e don' t              means of exploitation of a rich fìsh patrimony, w ha t was a technique
                   do this to put on a show. This is fìshing.' 29   H e does not regard i t as a      handed down with p ride and respect, and the surviving source of en-
                   'blood spectacle'. 'I don' t catch tuna for fun; I catch tuna for food, for        tire communities- that seemed endless  has now turned into some-
                   my livelihood.' 30   'There's blood, but it's not a show of blood. It's            thing different. It now mixes various aspects  in contrast:  tourist
                                                                                                      interest, obstinate will ofkeeping a tradition alive, make-shift jobs
                   about a way of fìshing, which has gane on for the last 900 years.' 31
                                                                                                      for unemployed and fìrst temporary jobs for young people in a social
                   N or does he wish any harm to the tuna, on which his entire existence              context so poor of prospects.  35
                   depends. 32   'What does fìsh mean? It means life. Fish is my life.' 33
                                                                                                      The turn to performing the tuna ritual for  tourists was tono
                   When he was not a rais yet, Cataldo had already confìded to Theresa
                                                                                                  avail.  In 2003 and 2004, no bluefìn tuna were caught as a conse-
                   Maggio (2001:18) that not the mattanza was barbarie, but the rais-
                                                                                                  quence of a complete dearth of the fìsh.  The failure to catch tuna
                   ing, feeding and fattening of calves to slaughter them. Likewise, ex-
                   perienced tonnarote Clemente Ventrone states that 'there is a lot of           with the traditional method of the tonnara is generally attributed to
                                                                                                  the use of modern fishing techniques by industriai fleets, mainly the
                   discussion and dissension about la mattanza, it looks like a cruel spec-
                                                                                                  Japanese and Korean. In addition, the recent boom of offshore tuna
                   tacle' but it is indiscriminate commerciai tuna fìshing that is de-
                                                                                                  ranches, where small tuna- that have been caught long before com-
                   structive.34 Hence, the tonnarati attempt to legitimise their actions
                                                                                                  pleting their migration routes in the Mediterranean- are fattened
                   by emphasising its economie and traditional importance and they
                                                                                                  and then killed, frozen and marketed, has wreaked havoc.  Conse-
                                                                                                  quently, la mattanza is presently a dying tradition. The fishermen are
                      28  http://www. uk/article/0 ,3-989891 ,OO.html. Las t ac-  acutely aware of this  fact.  In a  recent  interview, rais  Gioacchino
                   cessedMarch 21,2005.                                                           Cataldo said: 'Maybe it's not aver completely  .... And maybe it is. Ei-
                      29                                                                          ther way, this beautifullife has turned ugly' (Rosenblum 2004). The
                   Last accessed August 18, 2004.                                                 tonnaroti's future looks bleak: 'Once celebrated as valiant holdouts of
                      30  Video fragment on, Last accessed    an ancient way of life, these men now survive on odd jobs and hang
                  June 27,2005.                                                                   around the wharf exchanging tales of the good old days' (ibid.). I t
                                                                                                  looks as if the Favignana tonnara and its mattanza ritual will end up
                      31   Transcription of interview for Tonnara (Hope 2002).
                                                                                                  like so many other Mediterranean tuna trap fisheries: relegated to the
                      32 Last accessed March
                                                                                                  decontextualised realm of folklore an d museums. In the 2005 season,
                   21, 2005. By the way, Cataldo is involved in the Slow Food movement.
                      33   Video fragment on, Last accessed
                  June 27,2005.
                      34 Last accessed Octo-       35  Last  accessed
                   ber4, 2004.                                                                    March 21,2005.
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