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Evenienze industriali ipogee (i trappiti) a Casarano


the olive oil pressed ipogee (u trappitu) and his life


He wanted to begin this work of underground documentation of the Casarano for a series of reasons. The first to document, at least that one, before it is too much late the real consistency of everything how much there is in the subsoil than the ancient part than the country he that he remained.

The according to to show to young people of today how the work of our ancestors and the tools used by them in the accomplishment of the squeezing of the olives was.

A time good he leaves of subsoil of the ancient Casarano was dug and this for the friability of the rock, and for the necessity to recreate a dry and hot environment to make the detachment of the oil easier from the ground pasta of the olives. 

In these caverns, created in the subsoil, had place of business the olive oil pressed ipogee, called in the local terms "TRAPPITI". .

These ancestors of what with the time would have been the "industrial revolution" drew what from these source and materials. This manufacturing of the oil, it was for many centuries big economy source for all the Salento, towing with himself not only the system of transformation of the product, but also the agriculture and the commerce. The oil produced in the Salento was required and exported in all Europe.

But we go for order. For what who were the working in the Trappito and before how many they were?

The Trappitari were usually four more their head called "NACHIRO" and seasonal workers who while in the summer period they were developing the job of sailors, in the cold season, when the sea was impracticable, were closing themselves in these caverns up to the end of the season of the squeezing were usually. 

From here the justification of many seafaring terms which we find in this context. Their relationships with the outside one were quite limited in how much, already accustommed on the ships to live without to socialize and very high rates of work had. He can well tell yourself that theirs I work he came I turn 24 hours on 24 with rest turns in the inside of the same Frantoio so as to be awoke in case of need.  

The same farmers which had to confer the olives for the squeezing the entry was forbidden in the inside of the Trappito to avoid happening of thefts sia of olives than of oil.

The conferment of the olives to the Trappito, for theirs squeezing was happening from the road, where I cross the "SCIAVE", (risen of fire-places dug in the stone which were connecting the road to the olive oil pressed) the olives were become in the inside of the olive oil pressed itself waiting for their manufacturing.

To his turn the conferred amount was put in in the squeezing basin and remember that every basin was grinding about six Tomoli of corresponding olives to about 200 kilogrammes of olives, it measures derivative not from the capacity of the basin, drink it to the capacity of a little press.

Ground in fact after the squeezing to crushing, the paste it was deposited on the Fisculi that drawn up were put on the little press called "MAMMAREDDHRA" (the Little mother) to undergo a first squeezing. Thrown up after what in the grinding basin for to re-paste and always with the same draft proceeding on the Fisculi, pass to the big press called by the labourers "LU CONZU".

We now pass to see the terms used by our ancestors to name the various parts of these tools.

As I dictate before, we have the basin of shattering of the olives. In his center he was turning the " PETRA TE TRAPPITU " that was an only stone block to form cylindrical, used vertically on the circular track obtained in the shattering basin. He was serving to the crushing of the olives.

Then we have "LU CONZU" which is the big press. It was composed by the mother screw who was on running the "SANTU TUNATU" which was usually an only wood block. Representing the "head" of the pressure he had had this name in honour of the protective saint of this part of the human body. However the saying name I equip, one says have also another meaning. In fact (on the game of the double meanings of the term) he seems this name had in as in the act of the pressure and to the contact of the nut screw, the piece he was creaking as if he thundered (in vernacular the term is "it was springing" used) and from here the second meaning of the name.

Below of him the "CHIANCULA" which was a wood little bench placed above the FISCULI and used to their crushing under the pressure of the screw of the press.

At times he was happening that the Fisculi, under the pressure, they broke the column.The "BARDASCIOLA" which was a lever made of wood the NACHIRU was trying with to straighten the column of the FISCULI, using it to which of lever was used so.

The "DERFINU" (the dolphin), instead it was to heavy hard stone block, basic placed to the of the press and sunk in the ground, which, in the part, was furrowed by superior to circular canal interrupted by to little passage in the front part, the that was serving to make run as much as squeezed crosses in the "ANCILU" (the angel).

"the Ancilu"  was a kind of basin in stone, innerly cylindrical, which the squeezing of the presses was into directing, and with a communication hole with a cistern dictates NFIERNU (the hell) to the fund.

You will be wondering the because of all these communications among containers. It is said soon: our ancestors playing on the different weight specific of the oil and the husk had noticed what being the lightest oil of this last it was in surface leaving the fund the husk.

So to free hes easily, after picking up the oil they had the husk run be because I deposit discarded in other cistern called "hell", it be because producing the husk heat, said cistern was seeming to appear at the hell.

With the said time system was improved. In fact (as then you will be able to see in other environment) together with the oil a little was very often picked up of olive oil dregs. Then they decided to have a separator among the two substances, separator which found which in water interposing between the oil and the olive oil dregs was separating them definitely without possibility of mistake.

It was like that that the Ancilu water was applied a side hole where was put in that getting down to the bottom of the battery, gone up again in his he was acting as separator among the two substances.

And what the oil was picked up with from the basins?

The tools were two first was used the "CRISCULA" and then "LU NAPPU" which was a convex container of tin to pick up the floating oil residual on the bilge inside the ANCILU.

Explained this essential beginning of Frantoiana life we spend to see a few measure units used at the time.

Saying that said measure units were various for the olives and the oil is necessary for first thing. For the olives we have what principal measure unity "LU STUPPEDDHRU", you seem to about 10 kgs. of olives and "LU TUMULU" you seem to about 33 kgs. of olives. Every sqeezing basin (as I dictate before) was corresponding to six Tumuli, that is about 200 kgs. of olives.

Passing To The Oil We Have:

  • the "SCIUANNA". Container of tin (containing twenty kilos of oil) to two bends, which had toward the high one and from a side only a raised bib. This, in the use, was preventing the outside part of the container to the long oil to drip.

  • "LU STARU" (the bushel): container of the 16 kg capacity of oil.

  • Your Sottomisura was "LA MINA" (from the greek “hmina”). Container of the eight kilo of oil capacity (half of a bushel).

  • "the OTTU PIGNATEDDHRE", container of the equal capacity to four kilos of oil (half of the mine).

"LU PIGNATEDDHRU" container of the capacity of half kilo of oil.

Adding that these were the principal measures because then we have their submultiples is useless.  



For the moment the version in English finishes here. You can continue the consultation in Italian, waiting for the translation.

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