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the mattanza was performed as a 'living museum' to revive its history          'roots' may be located in the past, they often continue to produce
                   and emotions for tourists only. The cooperative organised the event            powerful cultura! forms that are important in the arena of identity
                   twice, o n May 19 an dJ une 5. The rais an d the tonnaroti performed           politics (Briggs 1996:440).
                   the traditional customs in traditional costumes and sang the tradi-                The mattanza 'has ancient roots, belongs to our traditions, our
                   tional cialome songs. Also, earlier plans to transform the tonnara es-         history', claims Clemente Ventrone.  36   Indeed, for  the Favignanesi
                   tablishment  into  a  museum  would  seem  to  have  become  more              performing the mattanza is an important referent and a marker of lo-
                   concrete than previously. The cooperative simply cannot afford the             ca! identity. Without i t, they will not be the same. They themselves
                   hundreds of thousands of euros that deploying the tonnara for  i ts            are acutely aware of this fact and i t is for this reason that they tena-
                   originai economie purpose would require. The folkloristic feat would           ciously attempt to hold on to their tradition against the odds of re-
                   seem to have turned into a means of survival. Come May, the Favig-             source depletion and protest. However, before any real clash between
                   nanesi will henceforth anxiously await tourists not tuna.                      the preservers  of tradition and the protagonists of animai  rights
                                                                                                  could occur, the mattanza appears to bave succumbed to the reckless
                   Conclusions                                                                    forces of industriai fishing. 'What was once a source of pride (not to
                                                                                                  mention income)  for  entire communities  has  now  turned  into a
                      The ancient ritual of the mattanza is  perceived as  an act that            tourist attraction, providing a few makeshift jobs. The practice is
                   lends the Favignana islanders authenticity, a singular way of life o n         only kept ali ve  by the obstinate will of the remaining tonnaroti',
                   the verge of disappearing. However, since the survival of the tradi-           writes Richard EllisY Whether in 'authentic' form or in transformed
                   tion has become increasingly dependent on extra income furnished               guise, the mattanza is ill fated, doomed to be relegated a place in the
                   by spectators who pay to observe the spectacle, some resistance has            realm of museums and folklore as has already happened elsewhere in
                  been launched against the tonnaroti for putting up a 'show' that has            the Mediterranean. The tonnara would then only function as a key
                  little do with an 'aurhentic' tradition. Bur in the sense that any cul-         symbol of a  local  culture's discontinued tradition.  The symbolic
                   ture,  identity or tradition  is  to some  extent constructed,  recon-         power  of blood  is  quintessential  to  the  ritual,  for  the  tonnaroti,
                  structed, invented or reinvented, i t is impossible to argue that there         tourists and anima! rights campaigners alike, although the meaning
                  is such a thing as an 'aurhentic' culture, identiry or tradition (Turney        they ascribe to i t obviously varies. With its very core- the man-to-
                   1999:424)- at least if we take aurhenticity to mean something gen-             animai struggle and the spilling of animal blood - taken away, the
                  uine, uncorrupted, pristine, untouched (Handler 1986:2). Such a                 mattanza would merely be a folklorisric performance no longer an en-
                  rnistaken perception sees authenticity as  fixed  essence, persistent           actment of a way of existence with deep emotional and existential
                  over rime. However, 'an authentic experience ... is one in which in-            content.
                  dividuals feel themselves to be in touch both with a "real" world and
                  with their "real" selves' (Handler and Saxton 1988:243). This is cer-
                  tainly so in the case of the tuna killing ritual. Enacting i t makes the
                                                                                                      36ìntervista_v.php?id=85. Last accessed Octo-
                  tonnaroti aware of w ho they are, regardless of whether i t li ves up in ali
                                                                                                  ber4, 2004.
                  respects to the way in which it has been done previously. The mat-
                                                                                                      37   Ellis,  R.  (2003)  'Mediterranean  Massacre',  Ecologist  Online,
                  tanza tradition is  about economie, social and cultura! continuity,
                                                                                        , Last acces-
                  which is not necessarily repetitive but dynamic: 'any community's
                                                                                                  sed July 6, 2005. Ecologist Online Ecologist Online, http://www.theecolo-
                  ability to persist, to innovate, to change on its own terms, is relative
                                                                                         archive_detail.asp ?content_id = 42 2Ecologist   Online,
                  to structural power'. This is a matter 'of politics, not of essence, and
                                                                                                  http://www. hive_detail.asp?content_id = 42 2Ecologist
                  thus subject to contestation and change' (Clifford 2004). Though                Online, http://www. ?content_id = 422.
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