Sardegna carnival mask from Italy

Q:  I bought those 2 masks 10 years ago in Mamoiada, Sardegna. These are the 2 characters of this traditional carnival, the Mamuthones and the Issohadores. The masks are new. The procession itself is almost hypnotic, it is worth the trip, unfortunately in the winter, end January till early February. I just sent you these masks, because I did not see them in your book, I recently bought on Amazon.

Jean, 1418


A:  Only the black mask is shown, not the brown one. I try to limit the blog to just one mask.

Carnivals in the island of Sardinia are a bit different from those in other parts of Italy and the rest of Europe. Masks, freaky disguises, dances and songs characterize these celebrations. Villages in the island all favor black and white as the colors of Carnival remembering the ancient origins of mysterious rituals. Grotesque farce, satirical theater, paradox plays are the features of this event that you have to live in person. People who take part in the Sardinian Carnival get involved in every celebration and actors and spectators are mixed up together.

Sardegna is in the southern part of the island of Sardinia. The people in this little area carve wooden masks that are simpler than those of the people around them. The colors are usually limited to white, natural brown and black like this one. On this particular mask there is a burned-in mark of the maker on the rear. You can also see the well made straps that insure comfort though out the celebration. They are worn by dancers in the carnival parade and sold to tourists. Sardinia is a popular tourist destination. I think you can visit the island almost any time of year and find a carnival somewhere.  B+

If one of our viewers has a much different mask from another part of Sardinia I hope you will send it in. This website is about sharing photos and info on masks all over the world. Sardinia has a rich history in masquerade and we want to learn more.

One Comment

  • Bob Ibold

    Jean sent this correction…

    Just one thing : There seems to be a confusion between Sardegna and Sardinia. Sardegna is the name of the island in Italian, Sardinia, in English, Sardaigne in French. The village is Mamoiada. So the sentence in the second paragraph should be “Mamoiada is in the southern part of the island of Sardinia.”

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