Il Tocco, Palermo
IL TOCCOThe game of ' Tocco 'is a very old popular tradition in Sicily which has always been played by working-class people. The original point of this game is to drink in a circle of friends around the same table. The rules stipulate that the two main characters, 'U padruni' and 'u sutta' (The boss and his assistant ) actually decide which players have to drink or not, and in which order. When u'Padruni passes judgment, the only one who has got the power to modify his sentence is u'Sutta, by suggesting other orders or by opposing his view. The couple also keep a whole bottle of wine and drink it between themselves, but the real purpose of the game is to enjoy a drink with their friends, excluding the opposite gang who, at that point, are not able to quench their thirst. Certainly the game is amusing when played between friends, but it can also cruel in that a table companion has to join in without drinking a single drop. This is also reinforced when the thirst is sharpened from eating savoury food which is consumed to absorb the alcohol. Since the dynamics of 'Tocco' are based on hierarchy and decision -making, this game has also been used like a supreme court to solve outstanding disputes between two or more people of the same community. That is why very often, when there are two rival gangs at the same table, they are ready to fight, sometimes to the death, if the tension is too strong. In any case, in the game of 'Tocco' there will always be a judge and a defendant someone stronger someone weaker, a winner and a loser just like the Mafia is structured
There has to be an order imposed from the boss throughout the game which sometimes assumes the characteristics of a war.
I saw in a little town out Palermo, the end of this game...the emotion growed moment by moment..unforgettable.