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Location & History
Brognaturo, a small village in the Calabria region (Southern Italy) is located in a valley in the Serre’s plateau about 750 meters above sea level. Brognaturo has an area of 24.5 square kilometres, a sizable area for a small village with a population of 766. In close proximity are the villages of Spadola, Simbario and Serra San Bruno, the latter being the largest town of the area. These villages were formally under the jurisdiction of the Province of Catanzaro, however, since Vibo Valentia became a Province on March 6, 1992 all these villages are now under its jurisdiction. The village of Brognaturo acquired the status of a Township in 1811. There are multiple theories of how the village originated, the most common being that the farmers of the various dominant Families lived in the area. However, the first documented existence of the area goes back to the 1200’s. Brognaturo derives from “Brogna”, a horn used by farmers to round up their animals. Religion had a big influence in the area. In fact, the houses were built around the “Annunziata” convent. The convent went through a phase of decline and was abandoned. Now it has been rebuilt and it is used from time to time to host culture and art work. Due to economical hardships, many people were forced to leave Brognaturo in the last 120 years never to return. A small group of emigrants from Brognaturo ended up in
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. There, they found the much needed jobs and have been able to live their own independent lives and raise their families.
From left to right last row:
Domenico Z., Antonio G., Antonio P.,
Second last raw: Antonio P., Cosmo
M., Cosmo R., Damiano R.,
First raw: Salvatore R.,
marching/stage band started at the beginning of the 1970's as this was
the will of the local administration. The band had a slow start because
the local people did not believe in the capabilities of the maestro.
However, the maestro proved everybody wrong in that he was truly a great
musician. The original band consisted of only 7 members and they began
playing in the Calabria region. In about two years the band recruited
forty five members. The band enjoyed a great period of success as they
played at various festivals and on the stage. They played music of
famous writers such as Verdi, Rossini, Mozart, Schubert, etc. Also
very important was the partecipation of the people of Simbario and
Spadola. With their help the band reached the highest success. However,
the band slowly came to and end. Most of the musicians were very young
and ranged from ages 8 - 19 and they were still attending school. As
they finished school a majority of them emigrated to other places. This
is an occurrence which has been present forever in Brognaturo. At the beginning
of the eighty's the band folded because there were not enough
musicians. Since the 1980’s Brognaturo has not had another band.
Giuseppe Zangari, a great contemporary artist from Brognaturo, was born in 1960. His artistic career started under Domenico Grenci (the great pipe craftsman now passed on). He fully developed his talent as a sculptor and painter on his own.
The following letter has been written by him (in Italian of course)
Between history and legend
The reconstruction of the sceneries in the various prints was possible thanks to the many narratives of our countrymen who have now died. They lavishly told me the stories with enthusiasm. At times they were remembering the distant past imprinted forever in their minds. They were telling of the raw beauty of the surroundings lost between the green of chestnut and beech trees and the Ancinale River slowly flowing toward the uncontaminated nature. Many prints with the depiction of daily life is very realistic as was lived by our countrymen themselves. Other prints of a distant past was verbally handed down by their fathers. Very vivid was, especially with the elderly, the deep connection of the people of Brognaturo with the ancient "Annunziata" church.. The church's monks with their work instilled in the minds of the simple people of this small village the values of respect of the human being, according to the Christian doctrine.
Among the many works of art of Giuseppe Zangari we find his paintings (after twenty years of reasearch) of the variuous stages of the construction of the village of Brognaturo
The square of Brognaturo at different times.
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