Legends, similarly as myths and tales, take their origins from the marvelous. These stories of oral tradition speak of figures and events that are beyond human dimension, which origins are the religious, the heroic and the fantastic that give birth to a new territory. The invisible and imaginary worlds of these stories offer answers to what is beyond human reach and give some sort of significance to the intangible and the unknown, thus making it possible for mankind to bear the unbearable – the wilderness of nature, our terrors, our finitude, etc.
Great fears are originated by what can neither be understood nor seen; nighttime, for instance, has always been a mystery land filled with devilish anxiety, extraordinary creatures and events. Not only darkness prevents us from clearly perceive the essence of things, but it disrupts all evidences. The comforting virtues of the legends soothe our daily lives and help us bear and accept the troubles and mysteries of human condition.
As a native of Camorino, I chose to treat this theme during my residency in Valle Verzasca to better understand my Ticino’s origins. I let myself be surprised and embraced by the valley in order to try to perceive its peculiarities. In my opinion, be it real or fictional, history is what enables us to understand who we are and where we come from. I believe legends are the roots of oral tradition, which is an integral part of our culture. Along with myths and tales, legends speak of beliefs, fears and hopes of the natives.
N.B. Costiss means “listen” in Valle Verzasca - Ticino’s dialect