The Maggio Festival in Accettura

The Maggio festival in the village of Accettura, in Southern Italy, is one of the most impressive and at the same time well-documented tree rituals in the mediterranean area. Two different trees are cut in the woods outside the village and brought to the main square, where they are joined and erected as a single monument to the renewing of the natural world. The ritual takes place in the frame of a christian festival dedicated to Saint Julian, and is accompanied by an impressive sonic collage of bagpipes, drums and brass bands, religious songs and profane dances. As part of the research team led by Nicola Scaldaferri and Steven Feld, including another photographer and various other researchers, we concentrated on the acoustic aspects of the festival, underlining the function of sound in regulating its unfolding. I published a sequence of 16 photographs in the CD book I Suoni dell’Albero. Il Maggio di San Giuliano ad Accettura, edited by N. Scaldaferri and S. Feld, published by Nota in 2012.