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Title: Cosca  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Crime family, Rosario Riccobono, Angelo La Barbera, 'Ndrangheta, Mafia
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


The word cosca (pl. cosche in Italian and coschi in Sicilian) is a Sicilian word which refers to any plant – such as the artichoke or the thistle – whose spiny closely folded leaves symbolize the tightness of relationships between members of the Mafia. In the English language this is best described as a clan. It is often used as a synonym for a Mafia crime family. The equivalent in the 'Ndrangheta in Calabria is the 'ndrina.


  • Blok, Anton (1974/1988). The Mafia of a Sicilian village 1860-1960. A study of violent peasant entrepreneurs, Long Grove (IL): Waveland Press, ISBN 0-88133-325-5
  • Dickie, John (2004). Cosa Nostra. A history of the Sicilian Mafia, London: Coronet, ISBN 978-0-340-82435-1
  • Servadio, Gaia (1976). Mafioso. A history of the Mafia from its origins to the present day, London: Secker & Warburg, ISBN 0-8128-2101-7

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