LE MONDINE 

Modern techniques in rice cultivation with herbicides and pesticides have  erased a part of our past. Till thirty years ago, crows of rice-weeders coming from poorer regions flooded into our farms and lived here for at least four months as seasonal workers in the rice fields.

They used to bring their traditional songs and sing while working during the day or in the evening after poor dinner and dance in the moonlight on the farmyard.

The songs that “Le Mondine” (the rice-weeders) used to sing in the rice fields while working from dawn to sunset call to the mind the spirituals of the blacks in the cotton fields, even if music and lyrics are completely different.

The main themes speak of their hard life, in fact, they worked in the water, in the mud and were annoyed by mosquitoes and various insects.

Besides, the work was badly paid: they fought for better remuneration and better conditions of work.

Figure 13 – two “mondine” at work

Other songs, instead, stressed on homesickness and jealousy as the girls of the place were afraid that “Le Mondine” could steal their boyfrie