Symbol of power and survival.
The Carbonari were an Italian secret organization. Their name means “charcoal burners,” and they were founded in the 18th century by charcoal burners. Their gathering area was referred to as a baracca, which is a shack. The vendita, a coal-burning term that refers to a site where coal is sold, was the name given to the baracca’s interior. Members were referred to as “good cousins,” while non-members were referred to as “heathens.” Apprentices and masters were among the group’s members. The masters were given a miniature hatchet to wear as a symbol of their rank and were sworn to secrecy regarding the Carbonari. They banded together to form a constitutional government and overthrow tyranny. They also stood up to tyranny on behalf of the ordinary people. In 1820, they revolted against King Ferdinand I of Spain in Italy. King Ferdinand I agreed to a new constitution as a result of the insurrection. The uprising was crushed, and members of the Carbonari were excommunicated by the Pope. They rose up again in 1831, this time in favour of Duke Francis IV of Modena. Before the insurrection could take place, the uprising’s leader was apprehended and sentenced to death. The Carbonari were in existence until 1848. They influenced numerous secret societies that developed in Italy subsequently.