Ignazio E. Buttitta

Chair of History of Folklore. University of Palermo (Italy).


Many festivals held in Italy feature ceremonial bread as an offering. The presence of votive breads, sometimes made in human form, is widespread in several regions. In Sicily one can still encounter a wide range of ceremonial breads, in particular during the festivities celebrating Saint Joseph and Easter. These «special» breads are also given as offerings during many other festivals and celebrations of special relevance to particular communities. Given their shape and ritual use, anthropomorphic breads are of particular interest, which are ex-votives proffered to restore order in the body and the cosmos.