Water Jug used by Agricultural workers in Gambatesa
In August 1971 someone in Gambatesa gave this clay jug to my Aunt Esther Valente (1930-1994) to give to me, but I do not know who it was. This jug was used by people when they worked in the fields, Angelo Abiuso explained to me. Why is it unfinished? Where it has been glazed the outside of the jug does not get wet; but where it has not been glazed the bare clay surface allows water inside the jug to seep out through the clay, and in the summer when it is hot this water evaporates and cools the water inside the jug. So the jug is left unfinished on purpose. It is typical for the summer. The jug is about 16 cm. high and 11 cm. wide [6-1/3 x 4-1/3 inches].
This jug is called a jiarre in dialect (la giara in Italian). It does not matter how you lift the jug, because the shape of its mouth lets you drink from either side without turning it around; there is no front and back. This type of jug was used only for water. It is a real one bought at the mercato ("street market"), not a reproduction.
The jiarre has a special top: the small openings keep hornets or bees from going inside, so that when you drink it is not dangerous. So you do not need a cork with this type of jug. Below: the view looking down into the top of the jug.
There is a similar jug called u ciccene in dialect that was also used only for water, but it has a normal opening. Its opening is a little bigger than for a French wine bottle. It needs a thick cork if you want to close it.
There is also a third type, a similar jug called u fiasche in dialect, but it was used only for wine. This jug you can close with one finger, the same cork size as a French wine bottle.
All three types of jugs were used in the countryside. Wine was for when the work was done.
The URL of this Web page: https://www.roangelo.net/valente/brocca.html
Last revised: 26 October 2005 : 2005-10-26 by Robert [Wesley] Angelo.