The age-old tra­di­tion of co­ral

In dis­cov­ery of red gold and the co­ral-mak­ing tra­di­tion of Torre del Greco. A ma­te­rial used to make mag­nif­i­cent ar­ti­sanal cre­ations that has fas­ci­nated peo­ple since time im­memo­rial

Where Naples Coast & Islands - - CONTENTS -

In dis­cov­ery of red gold and the co­ral-mak­ing tra­di­tion. A fas­ci­nat­ing ma­te­rial

A hard ma­te­rial that can be moulded by skilled ar­ti­sans, co­ral has fas­ci­nated men since pre­his­toric times. The Greeks held that co­ral grew from the blood of the gor­gon Me­dusa which hard­ened on com­ing into con­tact with the air; the Arabs thought that co­ral de­rived from the tears of Al­lah; in Me­dieval times it was thought to rep­re­sent the blood of Christ; in the East, in the Mediter­ranean, in West Africa and in Eastern Europe, co­ral amulets were be­lieved to pro­tect peo­ple from evil or ill­ness. Co­ral is made out of cal­cium car­bon­ate that is se­creted by or­gan­isms known as polyps. To-date, 27 species, liv­ing in the At­lantic, In­dian and Pa­cific Oceans, have been dis­cov­ered. Co­ral can be red, pink or white. The cut­ter stud­ies the branch, frees it from its stony parts, re­moves the tips that are un­us­able and sep­a­rates the fringes used to make neck­laces and horn-shaped amulets. He then cuts the large parts and sep­a­rates the ma­te­rial re­quired from the base to make ear­rings and rings, us­ing the trunk to make stat­ues, amulets and other artis­tic ob­jects. Co­ral-mak­ing is closely con­nected to the city of Torre del greco in the prov­ince of Naples, where, for cen­turies, its in­hab­i­tants have ded­i­cated them­selves to fish­ing and trad­ing in co­ral.

Taken from Caval­luce Dig­i­tall www.caval­luce.com Spe­cial thanks to Sal­va­tore Altieri, Caval­luce Mag­a­zine, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Italy

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