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expenses involved in setting the trap, there is a lot of anxiety as to         dressed as tonno but as tunnina, indicating its changed status from a
                    whether the tuna will show up or not. Other uncertainties include              wild, free-roaming beast to a 'tamed' animai.
                    inclement weather that may prevent setting the trap on schedule,                   Upon lifting the last tuna aboard, the tonnaroti praise the lord.
                    unfavourable currents and passing ships that may damage the trap.              If the catch has been plentiful, they sing a song of praise for the rais
                    When the rais decides the tonnara is full enough with runa, he calls           and metaphorically promise him the most beautiful giri in town as
                    fora mattanza, the apotheosis of the entire operation.                         his prize (Stabile and Martorana 1999:77). tfhe lyrics sometimes get
                       On the morning of the mattanza, the men of the ciurma surround              bawdy, and the singers can even poke fun at the rais- the only time
                    the fina! chamber of the tonnara with their boats and dose its gate.           his authority can be freely mocked. Because a mattanza is the catch of
                    Bach boat has a skipper who directs a crew of eight. From his small            an entire school of fish, dozens of tuna may be caprured. I t is a spec-
                                                                                                   tacular scene with struggling men carrying out their dangerous tasks
                    boat called the musciara, the rais directs the work of the men in the
                                                                                                   and fish and erupting seawater turning red from the runa's blood. A
                    other long flat-bottomed boats (vascelli). From these, the tuna will be
                                                                                                   successful  mattanza requires  coordinateci effort, experience, skill,
                   gaffed. On the rais's sign, the lifting of the death chamber's tightly
                                                                                                   strength, luck and- perhaps above all- patience. It is  'a waiting
                    knitted floor net, il coppo, commences, bringing the tuna to the sur-                                          15
                                                                                                   game', says rais Gioacchino Cataldo.  'T una fìshing wi th the tonnara
                   face while the men sing in unison (cf Maggio 2000:29-31). The lead
                                                                                                   means waiting. It requires patience and tranquillity and hope. The
                   singer or Prima Voce of the ciurma sings the verses of the traditional
                                                                                                   fìsherman waits and observes the sea, which often provides surprises,
                   work songs, while the other men sing the chorus in unison: 'aja mole!                                                 16
                                                                                                   even nasty ones, when you least expect it.'  'The tuna I can catch in
                   aja mole'. The chants lend rhythm to the heaving of the nets, which
                                                                                                   three months, theJapanese can catch in an hour. But they search for
                    is done manually. The rais sees to i t that the net is raised evenly. On
                                                                                                   tuna with airplanes and helicopters, and I wait, I wait ... But often,
                   his command 'Spara a tunina!' (Spear the tuna!), the tuna are hooked                                                           17
                                                                                                   the world is too tired to wait. That's the difference.'  He compares
                   with barbed gaffs (crocchi) and hauled into the boats by five teams of
                                                                                                   the waiting for the tuna with the waiting fora beautiful giri: 'you
                   eight fìshermen, accompanied by their shouting. Their screaming in-                                                                  18
                                                                                                   feel i t in your heart, no matter how long you have to wait.'
                   cites the fìshermen to overcome the vitality of the tuna and expresses              After ali  entrapped tuna are  taken,  the tonnaroti  jump in the
                   grief for the destiny of their prey. 13   Of the teams of eight that gaff
                                                                                                   bloody water in a ritual act that, according to anthropologist Serge
                   and haul in the tuna, the two fishermen in the centre - the arringatore
                                                                                                   Collet (personal communication), is symbolic for regeneration and
                   - hold important positions; they have to be the strongest and most
                                                                                                   reproduction. Hence, it is a literal blood bath. An experienced ton-
                   experienced at gaffing the tuna.  They use the shortest gaffs, the              naroto, Rocco Ponzio, said: 'Forme, [the mattanza is} the most that
                   speta, and are closest to the struggling tuna (Maggio 2000: l 04). O ne         life has to offer. W e risk our lives killing the giant tuna. The blood of
                   of the fìshermen takes care of the killing of the fìsh by cutting two           the tuna makes mefeel monstrously strong' (quoted in Singer 1999:65,
                   large arteries, whereupon the sea is running red with blood. The tuna
                   die quickly. The whole procedure of lifting ali the entrapped tuna
                   aboard takes about an hour. Once caught, the runa is no longer ad-
                                                                                                       15  Transcription of interview for Tonnara (Hope 2002).
                                                                                                        Rais Gioacchino Cataldo t o Sylvia Poggioli for National Public Radio,
                                                                                                   July 23, 2000 (transcript).
                       13  The T una Hunt in Portoscuso.
           lla3e.htm. Last accessed May 18, 2005.             17   Video fragment on, Last accessed
                                                                                                   June 27, 2005.
                         Arringatore literally means 'haranguer'- referring to the shouting ac-
                   companying the operation.                                                           18  Cataldo in the TV documentary Blutrausch vor Sizilien.
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