Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and a Zampogna Player

Nativity scenes (presepe or presepio) in Sicily and Southern Italy don’t just illustrate the Holy Family, they also show the folk traditions of the people in the region. For example, at the presepe in Sant’Elia that Experience Sicily’s Filippo Buttitta photographed last week, the life-sized figures include this zampogna, or bagpipe player. Zampogne (plural for…

Monreale’s Bagpipe

In Sicilian mountain towns, playing and crafting zampogna, or bagpipes, was a part of life. There aren’t too many zampogna players left–just like there aren’t too many shepherds (the livelihood most closely tied to the mountains and zampogna) either. David Marker, an american of Italian heritage, has made it his mission to keep zampogna alive….