The Pugnaloni (big daggers) of Acquapendente are not weapons but big mosaics made of petals and leaves, they represent the main folkloristic element of the omonimous feast celebrated in Acquapendente every year on the third Sunday of May.
The feast is very old and unique in its kind. Its origin is connected to one of the main episodes of Acquapendente history: the liberation from the yoke of Friedrich I The Readbearded tirannic governor happenend in 1166. Tradition says that a miracolous event was the signal to start people insurrection to chase their rulers and to conquer freedom using just their agricultural tools such as goads: the bossoming of a dried cherry tree and the apparition of the Madonna of the Flower.
Still today, after eight centuries, that ancient freeing is remembered by the Pugnaloni that actually are a re-elaboration of original goads embellished with flowers.
These mosaics, made of panels and brought in procession, are real works of art in which handed on techniques and charming colours of nature offer a modern re-echoeing of liberation from every kind of oppression. The Pugnaloni represent, even today, the original link still existing with our own peasant tradition celebrating in spring the rite of the explosion of strenght, force and beauty of Nature.
Every Pugnalone is made by a group of young people in a competition involving the whole town in the research of flowers, green and withered leaves, up to the last night when the delicatest petals are glued on the panels. On the feast day a crowd gathers in the filled square colored by flags and Renaissance dresses, waiting for the prize-giving of the Pugnalone of the year.
(click on the image to start presentation)
From: Guida al Museo Naturalistico del Fiore – Comune di Acquapendente – Ufficio Museo del Fiore (VT)