Autunno in Barbagia – Mamoiada

Mamoiada is a welcoming center with two thousand and 500 inhabitants in the heart of Barbagia di Ollolai, on the border between Gennargentu and Supramonte. In the hills, the ‘shepherds’ paths’ develop, transhumance routes that have become trekking and biking itineraries. In the surroundings you will encounter ancient stones and wood constructions, where shepherds produce Sardinian flowers, ricotta, sa frughe, and casu martzu, exquisite spreads on carasau, whose preparation is a family ritual. Intense scents of vineyards intoxicate the gentle granite hills around the village. Local cellars produce renowned Cannonau and Granazza wines. The cuisine is of agropastoral tradition.

Mamoiada is the land of Mamuthones and Issohadores and for the fall they will host an event called Tapas where people can taste food ans wine and also see the parade.

Tapas

In general the fall in Barbagia is an event centered in street market, so many Sardinians will take advantage of the structure to boost their business, meaning that there are products that you will see in every city. In any case every city will organize the event in a o particular way which gives a special flavor.

Mamoiada will do what they call tapas, a “tapa” is like a stop to eat something quick a talk a bit.

Mamuthones and Issohadores

The Mamuthones are a traditional mask and costume ritualistic figure associated with the Carnival of Mamoiada, a small town in the Barbagia region of Sardinia, Italy. The origins of the Mamuthones date back centuries, and their story is deeply rooted in the rich cultural and historical tapestry of the island.

The Mamuthones’ appearance is striking and mysterious. Clad in black sheepskins, they wear heavy wooden masks with dark, hollowed-out eyes and long, twisted horns. The costumes are adorned with bells, and the Mamuthones carry heavy wooden clappers called “Issohadores” that produce a rhythmic, haunting sound as they move.

The history and purpose of the Mamuthones are subject to various interpretations, with some theories suggesting connections to ancient pagan rituals, while others tie them to agricultural and seasonal traditions.

One popular narrative surrounding the Mamuthones involves their role in exorcising evil spirits and ensuring a bountiful harvest. The clattering of the bells and the rhythmic stomping of the Mamuthones are believed to drive away malevolent forces that could harm crops and livestock. The ritual is often performed during Carnival, marking the transition from winter to spring and symbolizing the expulsion of darkness and the welcoming of light.

Mask Museum

In Mamoiada you will also find the mask museum that is a must to see. In the museum you will know more about the Carnival in the region and different masks and their meaning.

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