The Fairyfolk

Minucciano, Tuscany, Italy; Sillano Giuncugnano, Tuscany, Italy
Est. 956m / 19 mins

The Fairyfolk - Cya On The Road

The Fairyfolk (or ‘witches’ as we have translated them in the following stories) are groups of men and women who meet up at night to dance in clearings around a tree, or to weave long processions along the valleys. They are localised to the Serchio valley and nearby areas. Indifferent to the life of the town, they can nevertheless be particularly dangerous if you encounter them or if you try to interfere with their activities. Although they are different from witches and do not do witchcraft per se, in various stories they end up absorbing some witch-like characteristics. They may appear as lights, small lamps that move in the night, but they can also take the form of animals, particularly cats, weasels or donkeys. The tapers they carry and pass on to some unknowing townsman, or the violin they give to the musician hired for the evening’s entertainment, are revealed to be shinbones of corpses, as are the pieces of meat from the ‘hunt’ that they hurl at windows. In the daytime they lead a normal life, as long as they are not ‘blocked’ in the place where they are found or in the form they have assumed by some special gesture such as plunging a dagger into the ground or into a tree. They can move quickly, covering significant distances. They were banished after the Council of Trent, a vaguely defined event that took place in an era not far from our own.

by La Giubba APS
Associazione culturale che lavora nel settore delle tradizioni popolari con particolare attenzione alla letteratura orale.

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