The "ciocco" in Maenza
The beauty of love traditions lies in the way they celebrate love and the bond between two people.
In Maenza, in times gone by, love was declared with a "ciocco", a cork seat, an important symbol in the custom of engagement.
Do you know its curious story? We'll tell you.
When a suitor wanted to get engaged to a girl, he would go to the house of the beloved and take with him a "ciocco" decorated with ribbons. He would present it to her father and exclaim: "So fatto sto ciocco pe’ figlieta" (I made this "ciocco" for your daughter)”.
If the father placed the "ciocco" next to the fireplace, it meant that the love affair was agreed upon and the two lovers could start preparing for their future together.
If, on the other hand, the father was against the bond, he would reply "Nun ci sta gliu posto vicino a gliu foco" (No place near the fire)”.
This custom had its origins in a pagan ceremony: placing the "ciocco" next to the domestic hearth was like placing the person under the protection of the Lari (from the Latin lares, "hearth"), the protective divinities of the family worshipped by the Romans.
An ancient way of declaring one's love and asking permission to get engaged, which is part of the precious heritage of Maentine culture.