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Carnival
CARNIVAL IN SARDINIA>MAMUTHONES>THE MASKS
 

first page | the masks | the scene | origins and meanings | points of interest


 
THE MASKS  

Mamuthones
Like silent shadows or mysterious characters, mamuthones hide behind their mask, called sa bisera.
Sa bisera is black, made of wood (wild pear wood is generally used, but also alder wood), with a prominent nose, chin and cheek-bones and two holes for the eyes and mouth.
The head is covered with a brown handkerchief tied beneath the chin.

Sa bisera, dramatic and grotesque, with no anthropomorphic features, represents silence and impassibility.

Mamuthones wear sa garriga, a noisy tangle of cow-bells (su ferru), on top of black sheep skins which hide the usual brown velvet suit; sa garriga weighs 30 kg and its noise counterbalances the silence of the faces.
On their chest, a group of bells, held together by leather straps.

Issohadores
Issohadores, which move with mamuthones, wear a red cloth jacket, girded by a belt with brass and bronze studs.
They wear white cloth pants (once made of dark velvet), a multi-coloured small fringed shawl and a berritta (cap) held by a handkerchief tied over their face.
Issohadores carry sa soha, a rush rope, in their hand.
Some have an austere white mask which covers their face; they usually play a special role in the performance.

photos, from the top:
- Mamuthone
- Issohadore

 

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