Lou Tintamaro de Cogne Folklore Group
The folk singing group “Lou Tintamaro de Cogne” was first established in 1957, with the aim of preserving the unique and characteristic cultural heritage of the village of Cogne.
The fil rouge of the group’s activities is the expression of a genuine culture, inherited from their forebears, who in past centuries used to gather together during the “veillà” evenings to talk about their lives, their problems, and often to sing the typical local tunes. This search for genuine, original elements forms the basis of the philosophy of Lou Tintamaro, whose repertoire has been carefully selected over recent years and is the fruit of a patient research into the oldest, most typical songs of the area, and whose costumes are a faithful reproduction of those worn by the cogneins from the 17th century until the middle of the last century (1950 – 1955).
The folk group, which currently has around 45 members, continues to use dance, songs, sounds and colours to transmit their passion for the ancient, original cultural message of the cogneins.
The cheerful, sometimes burlesque, rhythm of songs and dances is accompanied by the drums
“tambur” made of chamois leather and decorated with colourful ribbons on the outside and little bells on the inside, and by the accordions, creating an attractive, genuine, lively backdrop.
The women wear skirts made in heavy black “drap” fabric with large pleats, a specially wax-coated apron folded at the front, a stiffly starched white shirt adorned with a pillow lace collar, red and green ribbons to tie the apron, a necklace featuring several strands of coloured glass beads called “couro”, a little chain that attaches the top part of the apron onto the chest, a small black bonnet with long ribbons, a brown or black woollen scarf edged with brightly coloured flowers and shoes laced up high over the ankles; the costume is completed with a heavy red and black underskirt and knee breeches adorned with lace.
The men, on the other hand, wear trousers and a waistcoat made from black “drap” fabric, a white shirt with pleats at the front, a sweater in raw white wool with red and green edges, pompoms of the same colour worn as a tie, a black hat adorned with a mirror and the “bosquet” (bunch of flowers) and clogs with a wooden sole that help to mark the rhythm for the dances.
Since its foundation, the group has taken part in a thousand or so events in Valle d’Aosta (the first of which was the annual Regional Assembly of Choral Groups of Valle d’Aosta, in spring 1958, with around 60 members), as well as in many other towns and cities in Italy and abroad (in Britain, Austria, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Japan…), and has also taken part in the TV show “Fiera dei Sogni” and the film “Grande Slalom per una rapina”.
Lou Tintamaro recorded an album in the Seventies, as well as two CDs: “Pin – Pin” in 1998 and “Mélodies retrouvées” in 2007. A volume was published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the group’s foundation: “Cogne e il suo cuore musicale. Canti e balli ai piedi del Gran Paradiso”, by Patrizia Guichardaz.