In this project, I designed this bottle inspired in particular by the Vummile, a terracotta object designed to keep the water that Salento agricultural workers brought to the countryside fresh to quench their thirst during long and hot days at work.
This object of the peasant tradition maintained the freshness of the water for a long time through evaporation from the external surface. In fact, unlike other traditional objects, Vummile does not have internal and external vitrification, allowing water to evaporate through the macropores of terracotta.
The design of the bottle is inspired, in fact, by the culture of water in the popular tradition of the Salento area, which has always been characterized by the particular water scarcity.
To testify it are already the ancient texts, starting from the quotation of Horace in which he described the Apulian land as "Siderum insedit vapor siticulosae Apuliae", or "the heat of Puglia sit up to the stars"
Salento, in fact, poor in rivers, nevertheless sees the presence of freshwater, of which the sinking occurred due to the geological conformation is proven.
The connection with the Apulian aqueduct is a relatively recent event in the history of the Salento area, (1939). Previously, water was found through artesian wells or from the collection of rain, through the terraces of the houses, it flowed into the underground tanks dug by hand under each dwelling. With the construction of the aqueduct, public fountains were added where the inhabitants supplied themselves through various ceramic objects.
The collection of water represented a cultural system and a fundamental moment of the day, belonging to a system of customs that remained alive only in the objects that made it up.
There were a series of containers designed to transport water from the fountain home. The container par excellence aimed at this role was the / ˈmɛnd͡za /, to which were also added the / umˈbiːle / (/ ˈmbiːle / o / ˈmːiːle /) and the / uˈt͡ːsɛɖːa / (transportable) or / ˈɔt͡ːsa / (not transportable, but used for storage).
We are told that at night (around one o'clock) there was a queue of people waiting in line for the opening of the tap by the municipality and its turn to get water, arranging the containers in row houses maintained the same layout in the kitchen. The mentions were the favorite containers for this function, with a narrow neck and "buttonhole", that is, the handle for transport.
As for the material, the clay menus are mentioned, the tin ones, also attesting to a technological renewal that has occurred over time. To these containers was added the humble (mbile, or mmile), in clay, which appears to be of various sizes (10, 15, 20 ll), with a narrow upper shape, accompanied by "two sleeves" for transport. A distinction has emerged between (u) mobiles of different sizes. Finally, the ozza was a clay container, larger in size and large in shape starting from a narrow base, equipped with a lid and a small tap at the bottom (from which the wine or water that was contained came out), aimed at the conservation of water and other liquids in the home. For transport, a smaller ozza was preferred, precisely called "ozzeḍḍa", of a similar, restricted shape. For the transport of water, therefore, the size of the containers should never be exaggerated and the materials lent themselves to the fresh conservation of the collected water.
VDS: “cylinder, terracotta flask for drinking water. Terracotta jar for two
lugs, pot-bellied and narrow-necked, used as a container of drinking water. " From
Greek * βομβύλιον, diminutive of βομβυλιός: vase with a narrow neck. See.
DDS: (s.v. humbile) “amphora with a very narrow neck; enameled clay flask that
keeps the water fresh. "
DS mmile: “two-handled terracotta jar with a narrow neck, used as
a container of drinking water ".
REW (Postille) * bombyla: “The Rohlfs bundles the merid type. Vùmmula, -u
"Orciuolo", to which we can well add the abr. ommele "ampoule
oil ", and the Calab. sett. gummile, salent. cummile, mbile id. reported at
g. βόμβυλος. The first type dates back to * bombyla, while the second to gr.
βομβύλη = λήκυθος, certainly through the Byzantine ".
Analyzing, the shape of the Vummile is characterized by three fundamental elements: starting from the top we have the mouth of the container, protruding, so that you could easily rest your lips and drink. Under the mouth, an ampoule, in which the water flowed, slowing down and mixing, so that it was easier to drink, I think it was also a matter of center of gravity when the object was turned upside down so that the weight did not only weigh on the part.