December 12, 2015

The Unveiling of the Nativity of Mercy (Part 2)

The Nativity of Mercy at Most Precious Blood Church in Little Italy, NYC
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Click here to see Part 1
(Left) The Neapolitan scalawag, Pulcinella. (Right) An old woman knits a shirt destined for the baby Jesus. According to folklore, she finished making the garment in just eight days, dying peacefully after its completion
(Left) St. Martin of Tours offers his cloak to a cold beggar.
(Right) The return of the Prodigal Son
(Left) Dueling ruffians evoke the ancient ritual of zumpata. Their knives have cork midway up the shafts to prevent the blades from piercing too deeply. In the background, the dwarf figure in a monk's cassock is Monaciello, a Neapolitan house spirit. (Right) The chestnut seller represents the month of November
(Left) The hunter, along with the fisherman (see below), represents the duality of life and death. He is usually displayed up top, near the celestial sphere. (Right) The Baker symbolizes the month of June
A scene of indifference: Gluttons ignore a starving beggar
(Left) Dancing the tarantella. (Right) A Tammarraro performs his music
(Left) The superstitious Scartellato is adorned with horns, garlic and horseshoes for protection against the evil eye, or malocchio. (Right) A transvestite draws numbers from his pouch in a game of tombola (bingo) 
The fisherman, along with the hunter (see above), represents the duality of life and death. Displayed at the bottom, near water, he symbolizes the ferryman (Charon) to the underworld (Hades). The children in the boat, I was told by the artist, symbolize the arrival of the Italian immigrants to America
(Left) The poultry seller represents the month of March.
(Right) The egg seller represents the month of April
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Also see:
The Unveiling of the Nativity of Mercy (Part 1)
Behind the Scenes of the "Nativity of Mercy"
San Vincenzo Gets a New "Marble" Pedestal