The history of a people is not only regarding kings and battles, institutes judges and diplomatic affairs, but also that other, and it is the most difficult to explore and to understand; what is articulated in the beliefs and the customs is the patrimony that we now call folklore.
G. Pitre: Sull’ammonimento di Voltaire [Regarding Voltaire’s Admonishment]
Folklore is erudition, it is the wisdom of the people, it is the study of intellectual forms and of a people’s culture in the traditions, festivals, songs, proverbs, games, customs… It is folk psychology. Sicily boasts of a rich gallery of folklorists, of which Giuseppe Pitre soars like an eagle above all the rest, the man who can be considered the Master of a multitude of folklorists who have brought to light inestimable treasures of popular literature which hold the most secret voices of the Sicilian soul. Although Lionardo Vigo collected popular Sicilian songs, Pitre was a superior scholar due to the scientific validity of his method and the monumentality of the material collected in his 25 volumes of the stupendous Biblioteca delle tradizioni popolari siciliane 128 [Library of Popular Sicilian Tradition], for which he been called one of the greatest folklorists of Europe, and one of the best folk psychologists.
In this noble Gallery of names, these writers are very important: Salomone-Marino, Ragusa Moleti, Luigi Sorrento, E. Santini, A. Di Stefano, Sgroi, S.G. Venimiglia, A.S. Guastella, V. Di Giovanni, Alessio di Giovanni, A. Cesareo, L. Vigo, G. Cocchiara, F Giunta, G. Santangelo, and the list goes on.
Through the study of folklore, the Sicilian-or any other people’s soul is more intimately studied and understood, for this reason in the present book regarding Poggioreale of Sicily it is necessary to deal with the subject of her folklore, so as to demonstrate how the Sicilian soul lives and participates in the spirit of Sicilian life, comprised of a varied and complex history that in telling and in hearing the traditions reveal the mind, imagination, heart, and customs.
[This webpage is excerpted from the book: “The History of Poggioreale, Sicily – From 1640 to 1956.” Originally written in Italian by: Canonico Dottore Francesco Aloisio in 1956. Adapted and translated by: Dr. Jeremiah P. Spence, Ph.D. of Austin, Texas. 5th Edition. International Order of Genealogists Publishing. Ireland. 2019. ISBN: 9781072403371. The book can be purchased online at: https://www.amazon.com/History-Poggioreale-Sicily-1640-1956/dp/1072403374/ ]