MATRIX. MATRIX. A latin word, that was born out of one of the historical expressions of rural art in Matera’s Murgia: the bread rubber stamp.
Since ovens, where the whole community used to gather around, were mostly public in the past, local families needed to mark their own loaves of bread: this is why the risen bread dough was marked before baking.
In past years, these wooden rubber stamps were handmade and their upper parts depicted symbols of the shepherds’ world, often with an apotropaic value.
The bread rubber stamp was also used as a token of love that a suitor used to offer to the woman he loved, she could either keep it, if in agreement, or give it back, to reject his proposal.
A rubber stamp could be given to someone as a gift, to show respect, in some cases.
Bread rubber stamps are now highly appreciatted decorative objects: craftsmen use fine types of wood to make them, focusing on refinements.