Carnival in Barbagia | the masks | the scene | origins and meanings | points of interest
Recently in Fonni the ancient carnival tradition has been revived.
The main character of the carnival in Fonni is Narcisu who is also called Ce homo (which stands for Ecce Homo). This is a big puppet which is destined to be burnt because it is believed to be responsible for all the troubles and problems that the people in Fonni and the surrounding areas have encountered in the previous year.
Another important character of the Carnival in Fonni is s’urthu which is a strong formidable and well-built bear. Once it was covered by bovine hide and its nose was hidden by a cork mask.
Nowadays s’urthu on his rare appearances is dressed almost entirely in sheep’s wool. Like in other Carnivals in the center of Sardinia, s’urthu is restrained by heavy chains which are held by his tamers who pretend to restrain his liveliness and vitality which he shows by embracing the young women and throwing soot on them.
In Gavoi the costumes, rather than following the figures and images of the past, have assimilated common modern allegories.
However, nowadays there are still groups in costumes who accompany Zizzarone, the Carnival puppet, to the beat of the drum, the sound of the fife and the jangling of the triangle around the streets of the town.
The village of Ovodda is famous for its inventiveness in creating carnival costumes and masks. The carnival in Ovodda is famous for mockery, jokes, satire and hyperbole.
The carnival in Ovodda is symbolized by Don Conte, a puppet which, as in other Sardinian villages, is condemned to the stake which marks the end of the festivities.