Monday, June 29, 2009

Unmentionable


This is the coat of arms painted on the ceiling of the entryway to the courtyard shown in yesterday's post. Each noble family had its own coat of arms, often represented in a stone carving above the main entryway to their "palazzo."

This family name cannot be spoken because locals believe that saying the name brings on bad luck. Who knows how these things get started, but once they are rooted in popular belief, they tend to stick. I have a friend whose surname is said to bring bad luck, and there is a building down on the port belonging to another noble family whose name should never be said aloud.

This phenomenon has even happened to entire towns...in that case people refer to "that town" without naming it specifically. Unfortunately, it even happens to individual people, who are reputed to cause misfortune.

In this day and age, people joke about these things, but I think that on some primordial level, many still believe.

5 comments:

Jacob said...

Always interesting to hear about these things, though it is a big discouraging in this day and age that people actually put stock in such ignorance and superstition...

lakeviewer said...

Interesting and chilling too.

Vogon Poet said...

Interesting, funny and a bit worrying too. Nice coat of arms anyway...

Saretta said...

Superstition is a very hard thing to shake, I think.

B SQUARED said...

Good to see people have been weird for a long time.