Sardinia: small towns of Barbagia
article written by IAIA Stories
The journey in the heart of Sardinia, especially in Barbagia, is a journey through time.
A journey through woods and limestone mountains, the “Tacchi”, which I imagined were those of the sandals of the ancient Sylvans, who surely still live in these parts, a journey into the simple and strong flavors of the rustic food of the Barbagia countries that , through the arts of viticulture, craftsmanship and hospitality, entertain a dense dialogue with traditions still very vivid, sometimes dark and disturbing, more often joyful, like a dance.
We stopped in Barbagia four days, based in Oliena at the beautiful Guthiddai farmhouse, to visit Mamoiada, Orgosolo, Nuoro, and take a mountain hike.
Then, however, there was also a pleasant “out of program” in Bitti, a barbaricino village famous for its singers (“Tenores di Bitti Remunnu ‘e Locu” and “Tenores di Bitti Mialinu Pira”) and, together with Lula, infamous for some of its inhabitants particularly refractory to certain rules of the State …
The masks of Mamoiada
In Mamoiada there is a small, well-organized museum complex with fantastic interactive installations.
In addition to the Museum of Culture and Work (where we did not go), the Museum of Masks and MATER, the Museum of Archeology of the Territory, are part of it.
In the Museum of Masks, the friendly (and very active) director explains everything, not only the Mamuthones of Mamoiada and their antagonists, the Issohadores, but also the Boes and the Merdules of Ottana and many other zoomorphic and grotesque Mediterranean masks that recall the Krampus of Tarvisio, the terrifying Geros of the island of Skyros, the Kurent of Slovenia, and so on.
The ancient communities of shepherds and peasants believed that the masks had the power to influence agricultural production and livestock life, therefore, during the barbaricino carnival, they were welcomed and favored with offers of food and drink.
Both museums are worth a visit! The cumulative ticket, which allows access to the entire pole, costs 10 euros, while single tickets cost 4 euros the whole and 2.50 euros the reduced (groups, seniors and school children).