Italian Sibyls

The Cumaean Sibyl is a mythic storytelling prophetess whom Mediterranean peoples have venerated from ancient times through the nineteenth century.

For 17 years Holly Smith Pedlosky has been photographing Sibylline Venetian and Lombard Casalinghe, traditional Italian housewives, and their art of hanging laundry.

In Italy today, Carla, Margherita, Lidia, and Amelia make private altars of their family’s clothing on lines which connect daughters to mothers to grandmothers back to the Lares and Penates of classical Rome. Each woman forecasts the immediate extinction of these ancient rituals.