The Relationship between Ecclesial Hierarchies and Folk Devotion in Calabria. An Ethnographic Report and some Remarks
This essay is based on an ethnomusicological field research carried out in Calabria and dedicated to pilgrimages, processions and patron saint festivals. In particular, it focuses on the complex relationship between the Church, music and dance that emerges from this context and which characterizes the traditional folk devotion rooted in an ancient rural culture. These practices seem to resist the opposition of the Church, especially where the presence of criminal activities and the cultural influence of the ’ndrangheta organization appears to be stronger. According to the author, the identification of folk devotion with criminal behavior and culture may be misleading. The recent struggle that the Church, State and mass media have undertaken against folk devotion, merely considered as a demonstration of ’ndrangheta’s cultural power, can turn out to be useless or even counterproductive.