Symbols

Meaning and mayhem from NYReview of books on Mafia organisations.”The ’Ndrangheta has appropriated religious rituals, mythological symbols, patriots, and even saints, much as it has taken possession of certain words, completely changing their meaning—honorfamilymamma—and in so doing has created around itself an aura of mystery and wonder that makes it attractive in the eyes of new initiates, especially the youngest. Symbols and codes serve to create a sense of belonging and to hand down an identity so powerful that its members are even willing to die for the organization.”