THE REBIRTH BASKET
“Could you go up to the attic and get the Christmas decorations?”, so Maria’s mother opened up a world to her. At first, like every request, the usual snort… (why me?). And after an initial moment of hesitation, she decided to go. She opened the trapdoor on the roof, a detail that had always fascinated her, “like in the movies”, she thought. As she climbed the steps, the second moment of hesitation, the dust rose with every step she took. But curiosity breaks down every wall. And there she was, catapulted into another world.
There is something special about an attic, it holds a time gone by, everything there remains unchanged as if in a glass bubble. So, she went on, and the first thing he came across were some photos: black and white, old. He flicks through them, but peeps out from behind a curious basket.
A basket of woven wicker, she decides, of course, to open it. She finds letters, signed by her grandfather and dedicated, one by one, to her beloved grandmother. They were far apart: first the war, then work. Maria is surprised by the dedication with which her grandfather writes, searching for words to express his feelings, and with which he then tells about the basket.
“Everyone here uses them to take their harvest home with them, but since I’m far away from home, I decided to make one for our house, for when we get close. I’m weaving the twigs one by one, it’s taking me a while, I don’t have much free time. But it’s my thing for you. Every day a little bit. That basket found that day opened up a doorway for Maria to past times, to vanished love.
Everyone in life needs a basket, a figurative basket, a basket that can be a journey for someone, a dream for someone else, a basket that means rebirth.
In the past, furniture and accessories were made at home, using raw materials provided by nature: firrizza (stools) and panari (baskets) were made by hand, weaving and assembling different types of branches and plants.
Panari have very ancient origins, and in the early days they were used by the farmers themselves to store the day’s harvest so that it could be taken home.
And so the famous wicker baskets have been handed down over the years and have been used for various purposes: even traders used to put their products in them in order to sell them… nowadays, in fact, they have a more decorative use, thanks to their authenticity they represent a symbolic element of Sicilian culture… but it cannot be excluded that they can still be found in those characteristic markets, where after so many years there are those who sell their products as they did in the past.
During the experience offered by Ted Francesco it will be possible to interact with one of the few artisans who still makes panari and firrizza, who will teach this ancient art to visitors.
Although today these objects seem to be tied to the past as they have been replaced by modern elements, they have been used in a versatile way for years.