How Southern Italy Found Its Groove With the Restless Tarantella

Jan 04, 2021 552

BY: Marianna Gatto

Folk dances tell stories and reflect a group’s diverse history and culture. While the tarantella — arguably Italy’s most famous folk dance — is best known today as a dance performed at weddings, its origins are as ancient as they are peculiar. The tarantella traces its origins to Taranto, a city in Puglia, the “heel” of Italy’s “boot.”

The dance dates to at least the fifteenth century, and began as a cure for a condition called tarantism, which was believed to be caused by the bite of a wolf spider that was the subject of considerable myth and lore. According to popular belief, the spider’s bite was particularly venomous and produced frenzied behavior in its victims, who were usually women of lower socioeconomic status.

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SOURCE: https://orderisda.org

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