Category: Mafia History


Understanding all about Mafia history and its origins

The origin of the Mafia family is considered to be a disputed topic. There are several people who are of the belief that this group has originated during the medieval period. This group according to them was actually a secret society that was sworn to provide protection to the Sicilian people, who were then oppressed during the 15th century by Catalan marauders. But very little historical facts and evidence is present to suggest this. Legends involving the ‘Robin Hood’ might have associated with this group at that point of time. It is quite feasible that this group had existed as means for those honorable and righteous rebels, whose mission was to defend the Sicilians from the then oppressive Northern Italian and Roman control as well as external invasion by the barbarians. However, this theory has less importance with many modern scholars.

Formation of the mafia family

Several historians and experts are of the belief that this group had been formed during the later stage of Feudalism. The then aristocratic feudal lords, who lived generally in their big country mansions, had their land to be looked after and managed by their local managers known as the Gabelloti. These men were known to have compelled poor people to work for the estates, but offered them extremely poor wages. A possible method used by them was to have local intermediaries to be employed, presently regarded as the local mafia bosses. Many of the Gabelloti had become minor barons, but few of the corrupted ones often had refused the post, to become well known Mafioso.

However, with Feudalism being abolished, it had become much more essential for the group to have the peasants intimidated for paying taxes to Barons and also had a share of it. However, the group did even represent the local tradesmen, farmers and common people’s will. Often they were paid-off by them for justice or settling scores that was to be obtained through maiming or killing someone. It is for this reason that misconception of the Mafioso being ‘Knights’ or ‘Robin Hood’ arose. From being ‘friend of friends’, they went on to become ‘men of honor’. The Sicilians’ clannish nature and dislike for oppressive hereditary aristocratic law enforcement, is said to have developed a favorable climate towards the formation of the mafia members and group. This group might not have been created by the nobility, however, unwillingly allowed creation of social conditions, facilitating their macabre growth.