National organization of italian american
Bacio is the Italian word for “kiss” but its acronym stands for Bridgeport Area Cultural Italian Organization. It was founded in 2003 with a mission of preserving, enhancing and fostering our Italian roots, culture, heritage and traditions.
Published on: Mar 5, 2016
Transcripts - National organization of italian american
National Organization of Italian American
The National Organization of Italian American Women (NOIAW) is the only national organization for
women of Italian ancestry. We celebrate and preserve Italian heritage, culture and language. Through
cultural programs, special events, networking opportunities, mentoring, scholarship and cultural
exchange initiatives we seek to promote and support the achievements of women of Italian ancestry in
the workplace and the community
While some scholars see the pro-genitors of the Presepio, in votive statues representing the Lares,
divinities of agriculture or spirits of ancestors originally worshipped at crossroads and later with Penates
as household gods revered as guardians of the home worshipped in conjunction with Vesta (Roman
mythology), in actual fact the earliest representation of the Nativity can be seen in a fresco found in the
catacombs of St Priscilla, 2nd century AD, portraying the Mother and Child, the Three Wise Men and
Saint Joseph or perhaps the prophet Isaiah, and above a star with eight points.
Later in the 4th and 5th century in bas-relief work on marble sarcophagi the figures of shepherds began
to appear and gradually the Presepio came to resemble the present day form with all the figures, the
Child, Mary and Joseph, the ass and the ox the Three Wise Men and the shepherds. However this was
only bas-relief work, and later painted windows, miniatures, mosaics, not yet the three dimensional
representation we know as the Presepio today.
The Council of Trent
When the Council of Trent, which closed in 1563, issued precise norms for devotion to the saints and
relics it encouraged the diffusion of the Presepio as an expression of popular piety. The Jesuits, a new
Religious Order constituted precisely during that Council, took over the tradition almost monopolizing it:
in their hands the Presepio served for didactic purposes to win back reformed Christians and evangelise
in the recently discovered lands of the New World.
The Presepio, Catholic and Mediterranean, counteracted the Christmas tree, Protestant and Nordic,
started by Martin Luther; moreover the Jesuits imposed their taste for ornamental profusion and
distanced it increasingly from its original Franciscan simplicity. The 17th century saw the appearance
and development of scenic effects which revolutionized the Presepio. Nativity Scenes became a mirror
for the culture which produced them, reflecting the society of the day and the most vivacious aspects of
daily life with traits of intense realism: they were enriched with unusual and exotic elements and
spectacular scenery, displaying inventive imagination typical of Baroque.
The large statues were replaced with wooden figures sometimes partly of straw with head and limbs in
terracotta, wax or wood adorned with sumptuous clothing, fostering private Presepio, which had none
of the monumentality and immobility proper of Nativity Scenes in churches.
Connecticut based Italian Organization preserving the cultural and heritage of our parents and
grandparents. Bacio, Bridgeport Area Traditions from Italy in america & Italian tradition in america.