MAZZERI

[ONGOING PROJECT]

Who’s the Mazzeru ? Repeated my question the man who was sitting against a dolmen and chewing a piece of grass, He is the one who knows.” Silence. The man looked at the bay of Ajaccio and stood still for long minutes. Let’s call him G. He said that he knows some Mazzeri and he wrote a book aout them. I guess that he was one himself.

 

The story of the Mazzeru takes place in a dream. When he falls asleep, he hunts, standing quietly nearby a watering place, waiting for his prey. When this one approches to drink, thinking that it is safe, the Mazzeru hits it with a mallet. When he turns the body of the freshly killed animal on his back, the latter has the face of someone who will die in the next three days, weeks, months or in the year that will follow the dream on an odd number of days. Basically, the Mazzeru knows who will die, because he have killed the soul of the victim in his sleep. 

 

Every year, in the night between the 31st of July and the 1st of August, the Mazzeri from the north fight against the ones from the south, on a pass just above U Salge, a little town of sixty souls, at an hour and a half away from the major city of the island. After this epic and magical battle where elements and asphodels are used as weapons, the winners will have less dead people in their camp during the year to come than the losers.

 

In this island with heavenly coasts and mystical high and steep mountains, an important part of the ancestral Corsican culture has been preserved from the influences of the Italians (Republic of Genoa) and the French who invaded the island in 1769. This tale of the Mazzeri is around 40.000 years old and benefits a revival of interest since the autonomist and independence conflicts towards France in the 1970’s.

To see more images of this project, please feel free to contact me.