Su Battileddu

The sacrificial victim of Lula

“Su Battileddu”, “the crazy”, the sacrificial victim. The term "battile" indicates in fact a useless and incompetent person.

The archaic rite of the Lula carnival expected, in the distant past, the sacrifice of a victim in the flesh and bones. 

Today su Battileddu wears sheepskins, his face is painted in black and the lips in red and carries some big cowbells on his shoulders.
Photo by www.sardegnadigitallibrary.it/
Photo by www.sardegnadigitallibrary.it/

A dark neckerchief wraps his head, from which emerge big curved horns and, something very particular, glimpses of goat entrails can be seen scattered around his head.

On the belly, instead an ox stomach full of blood, that the viewers try to hit to break it, then dirtying, themselves, the face of blood.

A big barrel of wine follows on a chariot the parade.

This Battileddu is the metaphorical sacrificial victim, accompanied by other Battileddus Issocadores that hold him down with some ropes.

The death of Dionysus is at the center of the representation of the carnival of Lula.

The fate of su Battileddu that has to be sacrificed represents the value of fertility.

His death and the shedding of his blood are indeed clear symbol of fertility.

SU BATTILEDDU TEASER from Cinzia Puggioni on Vimeo.

01 January 2016

Mauro Cuccu
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