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The bread stamp, hand-carved in the wood, is one of the symbols of the pastoral arts in Matera.
On the bottom there can be engraved either the initials of the head of the household or another distinctive family symbol, while the top part is decorated by architectural or religious elements, human figures or pets, all signs of virility and prosperity.
Beside its practical function, which was making the bread loaves recognizable to each family after they were cooked in the public ovens, there was also an allegorical and ritual meaning, related to different images.
Additionally it was offered as pledge by the suitor to the woman he loved. She would either keep it if she loved him in return or give it back in order to reject him.
Nowadays, the bread stamp is just a decorative object for modern and antique interior design, reminding of former times and mysterious moods.

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Bread Stamp