Tarantism by Joachim Koester

This film is currently on display at the Ian Potter Museum at Melbourne University. It is a choreographed dance, based on accounts of a medieval Italian ritualistic dance that was employed to prevent poisoning from spider bites (I'm not sure that there are Tarantulas in Italy, though?). Unfortunately this captured version doesn't do the original film any justice, so if you are in that neck of the woods, I strongly encourage you to spend five minutes or so to watch it - it's quite mesmerising.


  1. Not tarantulas like you're thinking of... but the 'original' tarantula - the Mediterranean widow spider.

  2. Thank you thirteenthcenturyengland - did you whisk this from the top of your head? Or did you just google it...? (Your blog looks excellent, by the way!)