Sos Thurpos di Orotelli

The blackened for the carnival

Thurpos. Translated: blind, crippled. The typical mask of the carnival of Orotelli is represented by these figures that wear a long coarse wool black coat, chaps and shepherd boots.
It distinguishes them even a small chain of cowbells lead with a shoulder strap.
Sos Thurpos do not have a real mask. In its place in fact, the custom requires them to paint their face black.

Photo by R. Brotzu -
Photo by R. Brotzu -

The representation is very engaging and is focused on the noise, chaos and various characters represented by the Thurpos symbolizing various typical figures, although stand out mainly that of the shepherd and the farmer. The ritual culminates then with the capture of someone in the audience that follows the parade.

The meaning is all focused on the rites associated with the harvest.
It is interesting to note that here, unlike other masks of Sardinia, we may see totally human figures.
Therefore In Orotelli the concept to identify the man with the animal falls short and this element foretells the strong fight that the shepherd and the farmer had to face every day, reinterpreted an allegorical depiction by the Thurpos, which also tends to highlight the revenge of the weak on the powerful.

01 January 2016

Mauro Cuccu
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