Sos Colonganos

The mysterious masks of Austis

The thing that distinguishes sos Colonganos, (from Kolos = sheep), typical mask of Austis, is the absence of a typical element present in all masks of Barbagia: the cowbell.

In a number more or less consistent, the cowbells are a distinguishing feature of all traditional Sardinian masks.

Sos Colonganos masks stand out because of this.

They carry, instead of cowbells on their shoulders, an impressive load of animals bones, rattling ominously at each step.

Their clothing strikes incredibly and therefore there is no equal in the carnivals of Sardinia: they wear a long black sheepskin, and have a rough cork mask with a few sprigs of arbutus tree, tied together to hide te face and, than, on his head, wear the skin of a fox.

They accompany "s'Urtzu", a person dressed as wild boar, that in the pantomime is beaten to death by the Colonganos

The particularity of the fine workmanship of this set of bones bound together and brought to the shoulder draws attention.

The ceremony consists of a dance where they jump and bang on the ground a pole: it is very beautiful and special, and it has a clear propitiatory value.

01 January 2016

Mauro Cuccu
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