NEWS

4th April 2017
Bruxelles / L’Aia
Carnival King of Europe EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award 2017
29th March -1st April 2017
Bristol (GB)
RAI Filmfestival
25th March 2017
Oxford (GB)
Winter festivals and Traditions

TRAILERS

2017
Fasnacht in Tramin (Schnappviecher oder Wudelen) (I)
by Michele Trentini, Museo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina
2017
Perchtenlauf in Rauris (A)
by Michele Trentini, Museo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina
2017
La Gnaga (I)
by Michele Trentini, Museo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina

ORGANIZER

logoMuseo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina



via Mach, 2
38010 San Michele all'Adige (TN)
ITALY


Tel. +39 0461 650314

Fax +39 0461 650703

Email: mucgt@museosanmichele.it

 

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CARNIVAL KING OF EUROPE - Project objectives

INDEX

GOAL 1
• providing new grounds as towards some
overall interpretative synthesis of European
winter fertility rituals (i.e. “Carnivals”),
in the context of the general framework
of European culture history, through:

- museum research
- fieldwork on location
- cinematic documentation

GOAL 2
• establishing a working network between
some major European ethnographic Museums,
with particular reference to the Alps and the Balkans,
in order to exchange information and activities.

GOAL 3
• contributing to a growing awareness as to
the common cultural roots of all European peoples
and/or nations, thus establishing some minor,
yet not unimportant new landmark as to
the making of a European identity.

Michele Trentini
val dei Mòcheni (I), 2007



GOAL 1

providing, through:

• museum research

• direct fieldwork

• cinematic documentation

Kukeri of Straldja (BG), 1921

new grounds as towards some overall interpretative synthesis of European winter fertility rituals (i.e. “Carnivals”), in the context of the general framework of European culture history. In particular, the early, yet still unchallenged suggestions by Sir James Frazer (The Golden Bough, 1922, but also his own precious and largely unplundered commentary on Ovid’s Fasti, 1931) could be confronted and corroborated with more recent theories about the spread of agriculture in Europe along a SE/NW trajectory (cfr. Ammermann, A. J., Cavalli-Sforza, L. L. The Neolithic transition and the genetics of population in Europe, 1984; Renfrew, C. Archaeology and Language, 1987).

In this perspective, it can be possible to trace the progress of winter fertility rituals alongside the spread of the new agrarian ideology, as it can be inferred from its earliest Neolithic settings in SE Europe, through to its descent into the classical world, when we see these fertility rituals very much at the centre of the concern of specialized priestly sects (i.e. the Salii, the Arvales, etc.) within archaic Roman religious practice whence, alongside Roman conquest, the same ritual practices percolated again and spread throughout the two halves of the Empire.

 

 

 

 

 

Roman Salii beating on a skin, before a statue of Mars
Mosaic, III c. AD.

Later, in the middle-ages, in the townships of the West, winter masquerades tended to merge with the specific needs of the urban pageants, thus giving birth to the Carnival as we now know it (Nice, Viareggio, Venice, etc.), within the specific format of the burlesque cortege, that will be for present purposes left aside.

But in remote rural settings throughout Europe, the ancient masqued rituals remained unscathed and survived in the local folklore, where they continued to be celebrated to the present days in forms which are very much reminiscent of the ancient practice. In extreme synthesis, this is the historical frame of reference that will have to be tested, corroborated or discarded on the field within the context of “Carnival King of Europe”.

Kotilun gorria,
Labourd (E)
in Julio Caro Baroja,
El carnaval, 1965

Guirrio, Pola de Siera - Asturia (E)
and Galitian mask (E)
in Julio Caro Baroja,
El carnaval, 1965

More specifically, some discussion about the constituent elements of the ritual, on the specific symbolic significance of the characters (i.e. goat-like “wild” figures vs. more hieratic silent masks wearing high cones, etc.), and actions (i.e.: ritual ploughing, mock marriage; bear chase; sentencing and execution of one pivotal figure, etc.) that are brought into play, as well as some notion about their diffusion across space and through time, will be brought forward.

Northumbria (UK), 1927 or 1928
photo by František Pospíšil


GOAL 2

• establishing a working network between some major European ethnographic Museums, with particular reference to the Alps and the Balkans, in order to exchange information and activities. This has been already attempted in the past (i.e. Project PEM – Partnership Ethnographic Museums), yet Carnival King of Europe puts before the attention of the institutions involved a common theme to work upon.

• Carnival King of Europe. Winter Fertility Masks in the European Ethnographic Context / Carnevale Re d'Europa. Le mascherate invernali di fertilità nel contesto etnografico europeo

San Michele all'Adige (I), Museo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina
22th November 2008 - 6th January 2009

• Carnival King of Europe. Winter Fertility Masks in the European Ethnographic Context / Karneval kralj Europe. Zimske maske plodnosti u europskome etnografskom kontekstu

Zagreb (HR), Etnografski Muzej
15th January - 25th February 2009

• Carnival King of Europe. Winter Fertility Masks in the European Ethnographic Context / Карнавалът Крал на Европа

Sophia (BG), Ethnographic Institute and Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
19th March - 29th April 2009

• Carnival King of Europe. Winter Fertility Masks in the European Ethnographic Context / Карневалот, Цар на Европа. Зимски маски на плодноста во европскиот етнографски контекст

Skopje (MK), Nacionalna Ustanova Muzej na Makedonija
16th May - 30th June 2009


GOAL 3

• contributing to a growing awareness as to the common cultural roots of all European peoples and/or nations, thus establishing some minor, yet not unimportant new landmark as to the making of a European identity.

Zagreb (HR)
15th January
Etnografski Muzej
Exhibition opening:
carnival groups
of Valfloriana and Romeno (I)

San Michele all’Adige (I)
14th February
7 carnevali e ½.
2a Festa del carnevale alpino

Carnival Parade:
group of zvončari of Grobnik (HR)