Carnival in Sardinia
Soon it will be carnival again, starting Sunday the 6th of march and ending the 8th. On Sardinia in some places carnival is celebrated in a very particular way. It is full of centuries old traditions, dating back to the middle ages in some cases, and even further to pagan prehistoric traditions in others. As elsewhere people are clad in costumes and wear masks, but some masks are really bizzarre.
One of the most reknowned events is that of the Sartiglia at Oristano. This happening is organized on the Sunday and the Tuesday in the town center. Apart from the traditional costumes which are very colourful there are the games on horseback, like the ring stabbing and the galop. Every year the event attracts thousands of spectators who cheer their favourite horseman.
Another particular event is that held at Mamoiada. Men wearing horrifying black masks, clad in goat- and sheepskins with a large number of bells attached to their back, called Mamuthones, pass through the village scaring the spectators. They are accompanied by other men in white masks and traditional clothes, the Issohadores who threaten to abduct spectators. It is as if mean spirits have arrived to threaten the villagers.
Finally there is the carnival of Bosa, the Karrasegare Osinku, where satire and irony play an important role and there are playfull references to sexuality. On the tuesday spectators are asked for a bit of milk for a newborn child of which the mother has abandoned herself to carnival, the child is a doll wrapped in rags to keep it warm. In the evening the particpants wear the traditional costumes and carry a small light, with which they search for Carnival, and which they seem to find every time near the pubes of the specatators, crying out