By Luisa Del Giudice
A world ensemble of folklore students appears to be like at a few diversified ways that nationwide and ethnic teams have normally and creatively used imagined states of existence---some idealizations, a few demonizations---in the development of identities for themselves and for others. Drawing on oral traditions, specifically as represented in conventional ballads, broadsides, and the story collections, they give thought to fertile landscapes of the brain the place utopias overflow with bliss and abundance, stereotyped nationwide and ethnic caricatures outline the lives of "others," nostalgia glorifies domestic and career, and idealized and mythological animals function cultural icons and guideposts to harmonious social existence.
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Additional info for Imagined States (Folklore, Multicultural Studies)
There are several reasons for imagining Naples as a Paese di Cuccagna. As it was then, it has remained: a “Land of Plenty” for the few and the “Land of Misery” for the many. The axis upon which the world of Cuccagna turns is that of social inequality. Yet, where there is misery, there too is the hope of abundance. The topography of Cuccagna required peaks and abysses. These peaks were frequently rendered in architectural constructions stressing vertical height (cf. Barletta 1981; figures 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, herein).
It might easily have been entitled Cuccagna delle donne (women’s Cockaigne) since it seems to be aimed at/against diabolical women and their insatiable sexual appetite. Traditional Cuccagna representations normally present palaces of pleasure in which males are sexually catered to. Yet another example of the Roverso mondo (upside down world)? Electronic Rights Not Available Figure 26. Albero della Cuccagna. Example of Cuccagna pole in Italian festival setting. Electronic Rights Not Available Figure 27.
For King Cockaigne in the German tradition, see the illustrations in Harms 1983, n. 28, and Harms and Kemp 1987, n. 41, likely derivative of the Italian Il trionfo di Carnevale nel paese di Cucagna, 1565. 20. On “gluttony artists” and “performing omnivores,” compare Cheesman 1992, 1993, and 1996. Cheesman contends that they actually document large-scale social trauma (Cheesman 1992, 51–52), just as the ongoing preoccupation with food in immigrant cultures seems to do, I might add. 21. Sanga sees in the worldview of marginals, hobos (and peasants and immigrants as well), the reflection of these “paleolithic [biological] rhythms,” and a worldview therefore dominated by the philosophy of the crapula, that is, to glut whenever the opportunity arises (cf.