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.


Domus de Janas

  The  Janas are imaginary creatures of the Sardinian popular tradition, tiny women with a volatile temperament, a bit  witches and a bit fairies, both kind and naughty. Much smaller than humans, in some way they make one think of a Sardinian version of female elves. By no means spiritual creatures, but demons in the Greek meaning , in other words beings between the human and the divine sphere. Their tiny size allowed them to live in the “Domus” which are smaller than normal houses built in the rocks.   This is obviously a Sardinian legend which combines these magical figures with the millenarian stone lodgings and  sounds just like the beginning of a fairy tale.  The Domus are in truth caves dug in rocks by  ancient Sardinian civilisations over 5,000 years ago,  there are many spread all over the island,  from Cagliari all the way up to Santa Teresa di Gallura. (more…)