Le fornaci, luoghi della  memoria e dell’identità etnea

fornace_Conversando, una sera, con il maestro D’Inessa,  ormai ombra fra le ombre, consapevole della sua passione verso il mondo della civiltà contadina, oltre a parlare di pittura, l’ho stimolato a ricordare le fornaci, che un tempo producevano, a Paternò, vari manufatti di argilla tra cui gli orci,  indispensabili recipienti per mantenere l’acqua fresca per chi si recava, nella calura estiva, in campagna a svolgere faticosi lavori.

Così, in un lampo, Peppino prese un foglio di carta, che si trovava per caso sul tavolo del salotto, e incominciò a eseguire, con rapidi colpi di matita, lo schizzo di una fornace.

Disegnò con vivide fiamme la sala di combustione poi l’area a filtro, tra la camera di combustione  e la zona da carico, fino alla cuspide dove dalle aperture della nera volta si poteva osservare la camera dove si cuocevano i mattoni.

Il territorio di Paternò, un tempo, era costellato da queste caratteristiche architetture, di origine romana, dette stazzuni o carcare (fornaces calcariae) perché vi si produceva anche la calce. Vi erano fornaci nella contrada Ciappe Bianche, nel quartiere dei Falconieri,  a S. Marco nella ex Villa Mirone, adesso Casa delle Acque,  in contrada Cafaro (fornace di Prifalaci) e in Via Circumvallazione (fornace di Impallomeni). Oggi alcuni dei manufatti prodotti nelle antiche fornaci  come i bummula (orcioli), le quartare (brocche), i quatrittuni (mattonelle), i caruseddi (salvadanai), le pignatte (pentole), i coppi (tegole), i catusi (grondaie), che un tempo si esportavano fino a Napoli, si possono ammirare, assieme a tanti altri oggetti relativi al mondo dell’antico artigianato, nel Museo della Civiltà contadina di Paternò.

Un museo, talvolta, ingiustamente dimenticato com’è recentemente accaduto all’inaugurazione della Casa del Cantastorie, dove fra le tante citazioni e collegamenti tematici non c’è stato alcun cenno al fatto che proprio in quella  raccolta, quando ancora si trovava nel piccolo caveau della Scuola Media G. Marconi, già nel 1996 incominciava a nascere la passione e lo studio verso il mondo dei cantastorie accogliendo la tela, donata da Francesco Paparo detto Cicciu Rinzinu, che riproduceva la storia di Peppino Calabrese (vedi foto pag. 89, AA. VV., Paternò e la sua Civiltà contadina, Comune di Paternò 1996,).

Interesse e curiosità  che  sono proseguiti, ancora nel tempo, con una breve ricerca, sugli i aedi di casa nostra, pubblicata nel volume Artigianato e antichi saperi, edito a cura del XXIII Distretto scolastico di Paternò e dell’Assessorato Regionale BB. CC. AA. e P.I. di Palermo (pagg. 75, 76,77).

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