La Mattanza: Traditional Tuna Fishing in Sicily
In the channel between Levanzo and Favignana a spectacular tuna fishing method has been practiced since prehistory. Here are some videos showing how the fishermen used net traps leading to a square pen (camera della morte = death chamber).
The last mattanza took place in Favignana in 2007, according to Maurizio d'Atri (Sicily and the Sea).
Spectacular tuna fishing (1932)
Source: British Pathé
As the floor of the House of Death was gradually hoisted up, the fishermen sang songs of ancient Arabic origin (Ajamola Ajamola - Come, o my Creator, help us - etc.)
Tunny Season Opens In Sicily (1949)
Favignana Pesca del Tonno
Tuna fish salesman (Mandralisca Museum, Cefalù).
Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily
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