Muravera, Sardegna

Maskaras is a traditional carnival of the Island, which has taken place every summer in Costa Rei, for the past ten years. The performers put on typical masks with tragic and gloomy exspressions and move with measured steps, accompanied by the heavy and ominous sound of cowbells. They parade along the main street of the village, performing ritual dances and ancestral rites. Spectators, fascinated by the masks, may become involved and can join the performers by having their own faces painted black by Thurpos Orotelli and the Issohadores from Mamoiada are always looking for people to capture and add to their group. The masks come mostly from Northern Sardinia.
Here are some of the main ones :
- The Mamuthones from Mamoiada who, with their slow and mysterious, almost melancholy dance, cast out evil spirits from humans and cattle;
- Sos Thurpos from Orotelli are blind and crooked men, dressed as peasants with a worn wool coats that cover their faces. They stage the eternal struggle against the owners of the pastures, thereby reversing the roles of farmer and ox. This is represented by two Thurpos who are yoked during the procession.
- The Boes and Merdules from Ottana, parading in a disorderly fashion to signify the bond between man and beast in the yoke of life. The gloomy figure of this scene is the Filonzana, who is an old woman dressed in mourning holding a spindle and a distaff and spinning wool. She threatens to cut the thread of life that hangs from the distaff if she isn’t offered any drinks.
– The Mamutzones from Samugheo, who are distinguished by their headdress, which is made of a container lined with cork, wool and a goat skin with big horns.They march with their cowbells in a alluring and mystical dance to help them become one with nature so that the village’s harvest will be bountiful in the coming season. After the parade, the masked figures mingle in the crowd until late at night.