Val di Kam - Sulle tracce del re Sicano Kokalos

Folk Group

Kokalos

The folk group Kokalos takes its name from the great Sican king, one of the first peoples to live in Sicily.

It is in this place that Kokalos asked Daedalus, expert Greek architect, to built a great fortress: the mythical Kamikos, today identified with Sant’Angelo Muxaro.

The History of the Folk Group

The group was founded in 1992 and today counts 40 components: young people that, dedicated and enthusiastic, constantly study and rehearse to perfect and take to all Italy the various facades of our traditions, customs and love of the land Sicily. In the now numerous shows, national and international festivals in which the group has taken part, it has always brought with it the sunshine, the delight, the joviality that characterises our homeland and our vocation to bring elsewhere our traditions and customs and keep the memory of our origins alive.

For this reason our vast repertory is always attentive in valorising and emphasising the traditional Sicilian folklore and, in particular, the traditions of the province of Agrigento. Melodic songs and instrumental melodies that belong to Sicilian popular music of the 18th and 19th centuries that draw from oral traditions and that, unfortunately, are dying out: tarantellas and ballads that sweep you off your feet, Sicilian paeans to its dominators, habitants of yesterday and today, scenes and songs dedicated to ancient crafts and to everlasting love.

Musical Instruments

For its performances the folk group Kokalos avails itself of old popular musical instruments:
U FRISCALETTU: the fife – a shrill flute of Hellenic origin made from Mediterranean cane or in metal;

U MARRANZANU: Jew’s harp – ancient musical instrument with that is held between the teeth and, vibrating a wire within, produces a particular metallic sound;

A QUARTARA o BUMMULU: a peculiar terra-cotta vase-like instrument that produces a wind-like sound;

Il TAMBURELLO: the tambourine – musical instrument made of a wooden hoop with parchment stretched over one end and with ciancianeddi – small cymbals – set in slots;

GUITARS;

ACCORDIONS.

The costumes

The typical costumes represent, in form and style, the common 18th century Sicilian clothes.

The typical feminine costumes are composed of red or yellow draped damask skirts; black striped velvet waistcoats enriched with a flowery trim; white blouses, culottes and smocks enriched in precious lace. Another costume is a shirt-sleeved brocade dress, blouse, culottes and a white cotton smock adorned with needlework, lace and a red cord.

The typical Sicilian male costume is composed of black striped velvet trousers and waistcoats, white or checked shirts, caps and various ornaments: red or yellow waistbands and pom-poms.

The Show

The show is in three parts.

The first part of the show underlines the relationship between God and man in praise of the Lord and the Saints for the graces received. In this context there is a procession in honour of the patron Saint, Sant’Angelo Martyr, a Sicilian nursery rhyme dedicated to the Holy Mary and a praise to the Lord to thank him for the bringing of dawn. The second part is dedicated to peasant work: the wheat, almond and grape harvests are emulated, and the various phases of a typical skilled workmanship of our town, the manufacturing of plaster of Paris from gypsum.

Each song is alternated by a dance (the famous Sicilian tarantella).

Lastly, in the third part of the performance the emotion of love predominates and it is represented through the courtship and the exaltation of the Sicilian woman.

The performance
Procession of Sant’Angelo Martyr - Nursery rhyme of the Holy Mary - Local tarantella
The Song of the Valley -The Song of the plaster worker - Kokalos Tarantella
Wheat-harvest - Grape-harvest - Polka - Tambourine tarantella - Peasant tarantella
Sicilian tarantella - Almond-harvest tarantella

Presence in National and International Festivals

Feast of Tutto Mele Cavour – Turin;

TV programme La Vita in Diretta, RAI 2;

Jubilee of folk groups – Tindari;

International festival of music – Markgroningen – Germany;

International folk festival Feast of Almonds in Bloom – Agrigento;

International folk festival – Ioannina – Greece;

International folk festival – Piatra Neamt – Rumania;

International folk festival – Luberon – France.