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The children's games - the cuckoo

A set of typical cuckoo materana tradition

The cuckoo is a typical whistle materano shaped like a rooster, takes its name from the sound it produces because it recalls the cuckoo.
This object dates back to before Christ, they are witnesses of the finds within the graves of children of Magna Greek times.
The traditional whistle materano depicts a colorful rooster on the sides, symbol of strength and virility. Often he was exposed or walled outside the houses and workshops in defense against evil spirits; It was a kind of lucky charm. The rooster, in fact, He is the one who announces the arrival of the day and drives away the darkness of evil symbol.
With the passage of time the whistle is enriched with floral decorations and of small birds taking an important meaning during the step of courtship between man and woman. In fact the man, as well as the "colorful rooster", manifested his manhood and his love giving a cuckoo, if the woman refused, also he rejected the man's court against him. Also more Cuckoo was large and full of decorations had to be more love for his girlfriend and the offer of material wealth that the love he wanted to give her.
In a metaphorical sense fertility, the whistle was the gift that many newlyweds in Matera received a good omen sign for an offspring as numerous as possible.
According to a more recent tradition the cuckoo was given to children on Easter Monday. A simple game but at the same time highly coveted.
The whistles of Matera are of two types: air and water. The first works on the same principle of the flute with the difference that the hole is unique, while the second, more particularly, emits different sounds depending on the quantity of water present in small pan attached to whistle.

The children's games - the pupa

Depiction of the pupa Matera

The pupa is a particular terracotta doll depicting a woman with colorful clothes.
The doll is a reproduction of “Pupa of Caciocavallo", a typical cheese that Lucan, in the past it gave to the children during weaning.
The pupa of cheese was a food but, at the same time, a game and had many benefits for your child. As often happens unconsciously little carried the game (the pupa of cheese) the mouth, the hard crust scratched the gum relieving the annoying itching and helping first teeth to come out.
The cheese into contact with saliva softened, becoming a pacifier and a great football reserves, fundamental in the first months of life.
This ingenious little doll made it possible to make a vital contribution to child growth making it fun at the same time.
The cheese into form of pupa He was obtained by pressing, in a wooden mold formed by two overlapping pieces, the still warm paste cheese. These molds were mostly hand-cut by the shepherds who produced the cheese itself.
Today the pupa is reproduced in terracotta proposing costumes that have left a legacy of Albanian ethnic groups past Basilicata around 1400.