Is Animeddas, Su Mortu Mortu: Halloween in Sardinia

Before the globalization of the Halloween celebration, in Sardinia, the remembrance of the All Souls’ Day was called with other names. But the coincidence of the period of the year makes think of common traditions from time out of mind, before religions institutionalized celebrations, when manhood lived to the rhythm of seasons. All Souls’ Day, in Sardinia, changes its name depending on the different areas of the isle. In the North it’s called Is Animeddas, in the South: Su Mortu Mortu. But this two names aren’t all and change from village to village. In Seui, for example, it's known like Su Purgadoriu. (more…)

Giants’ grave: the enigma of Arzachena

Wide crafted granite rock blocks vertically pound into the ground: they are the so called giants’ grave, nuragic monuments of cyclopic measures. Mysterious evidence of an old civilization inhabiting the territory of Sardinia since more than a thousand year before the Christian era. The succeeding civilizations’ astonishment gave them the name of giants’ grave, connecting the megalithic proportion of the buildings with the size of their makers. The most evocative megalithic monuments in Sardinia are three: the Coddu ‘Ecchju (or Coddu Vecchiu) grave, the Li Lolghi grave and the Li Muri necropolis. All the three are located near Luogosanto, some kilometers from Arzachena. (more…)

Domus de janas: Sardinia history and legends

Domus de janas buildings are evidences of the Sardinian ancient civilization; a culture living in close quarters with Nature.

The folkloristic imaginary worked for century about this kind of building craved from the rocks and spread in the whole Sardinia, drawing legends still fascinating. The many openings starring the inland area of Sardinia, spooky access to the underworld, have been populated of supernatural creatures: the janas. According to the differing versions of the traditional tales, the janas are fragile fairies or awkward witches getting out from their lurk, the domus de janas (trad. houses of the fairies), only at night.

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Poetry and feeling in Nuoro

Maria Grazia Deledda is no doubt Sardinia's best known writer, but few know that most of her education was self taught as she finished her studies at primary school as was the custom (for women in particular) in those days. What moved her was a passion for Sardinian tradition and all that concerned the social and political issues of her much loved land. She was born in Nuoro from a wealthy family (her father was a landowner and mayor of the town) but her youth was characterised by a series of unhappy events; the deaths of two sisters, of her father and the imprisonment of a brother. All this sadness created in her an acute perception of pain and love which she managed to transmit superbly in her novels.  (more…)

Spooky Sardinia….

Sardinia loves mistery, witches and spooky traditions are in fact an important feature of the island's ancient heritage. In the village of Aritzo, situated in the heart of the Barbagia (the very hinterland of the island, famous for the production of chestnuts and cherries) the old "Sa Bòvida" prison  has a museum dedicated  to instruments of torture and witchcraft. The museum is in the centre of the village, and rises on  a narrow flight of steps;  it's an old building dating back to 1700 and  was  once used as a maximum security prison. It  is characterised by an underground passage of Spanish origin called "Sa Bòvida" (the vault). The museum is set in the many cells of the old prison and includes the permanent exhibition entitled “Bruxas”, covering all magic and witchcraft aspects between the XV and XVII century.  Here a  variety of objects belonging to religious, magic and witchcraft rituals introduce the visitor to the world of popular beliefs and the most terrible curses..eek.  (more…)