Besides the well-known Monachicchio, or “Monaciedd” in some local dialects, there exists another equally enigmatic creature called “Monachella” in Basilicata. This petite female character resides in the Lucanian towns of Rotondella, Nova Siri, and Montalbano Jonico.
Dressed in black, the Monachella is a spiteful being who causes trouble and unrest among the people of the Metapontino area.
Similar to her male counterpart, she sneaks into houses at night, moves or hides objects, and often sits on the chest or belly of her victims to disrupt their sleep or breathing.
Unfortunate individuals who come face-to-face with this dark figure may try to seize her long hair and demand a reward in exchange for their freedom.
Although lesser-known than other figures, the Monachella has recently been recognized as part of the intangible heritage of the Ministry of Culture, thanks to the diligent efforts of two anthropologists, Liana Petralla and Carmen Montemurro, of the cultural association Legoratio.
Through their work, «alla ricerca del mito della Monachella» – “In Search of the Myth of the Monachella,” they have documented and collected testimonies from locals, “rescuing” this mysterious female character from obscurity.
While I have yet to read or view their work, the Ministry’s recognition of the “Nun” as intangible heritage is intriguing. It further validates the significance of Basilicata’s magical and mystical nature as an essential component of our culture that we must safeguard and preserve.
Please find the source of this news in the newspaper “La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno” .