GOLD AWARD: The Cullatore

Photograph by

Antonio Busiello

About this image

The ‘cullatori’ are men who have tremendous calluses on their shoulders from bearing the weight of huge wooden structures, year after year, at the Festival of the Lillies in Nola, a small town in Southern Italy. The festival has attracted thousands of visitors each June, since 410 AD. The team of cullatori carry eight 82 foot traditional derrick-shaped structures, weighing over 2,000 pounds, through the narrow streets of the town for a day and a night. I was impressed by how proudly they wear their huge calluses as symbols of their sacrifice and devotion to Saint Paulinus, who gave up his freedom and all his possessions to save the citizens of Nola during the Visigoth invasion. Nikon D3, with 50mm lens