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The Mamuthone represents the sixth edition of our BJJ Summer Week, and it is the third figure dedicated to the Sardinian ancestral carnival (together with the Filonzana and the Boes of Ottana), after the series of the nuragic civilization (the giant of Monti Prama, the Warrior Quattrocchi and the Tribal Chief). It is one of the most ancient and known masks of Sardinian folklore.
Native to a small town in Barbagia called Mamoiada, situated in the wild center of Sardinia, the origins are lost in the mists of time. The appearance of the Mamuthone represents the wild force of nature: independent and indomitable, therefore difficult to control. It could be the union of different beasts: the bull for its size, the sheep for its fleece, the goat for its strong independent spirit. It is certainly linked to the ancient rites of the change of seasons of the ancient agro-pastoral world where religion, magic, folklore and tradition mixed together giving life to a unique story.
According to the most faithful tradition the Mamuthone paraded along the streets of Mamoiada only on January 17: the day of St. Anthony the Abbot which ended with the ritual of night fires. It is said that those who paraded during the day rarely touched food or water or removed their masks, perhaps as a sign of devotion and/or penitence towards the saint. The mamuthone parades alternating normal movements with jumps. Despite its wild nature it does not speak and does not scream, but its jumps are accompanied by the sound of dozens of cowbells that it wears fixed on his back with leather laces.
The mask and costume
The mask has few, but particular details. The face is covered with a mask carved in walnut or chestnut wood (woods of which the Sardinian hinterland is rich), then blackened to make it even more grotesque. The body is covered with skins with long hair, wild that apparently doubles the size of the wearer to instill fear. The cowbells on the Mamuthone’s back are made strictly by hand, with iron covered with brass.
In the sixth edition of BJJ Summer Week a Mamuthones submits a Devil after having taken his back in a fantastic representation but in the tradition of the protective, wild and wild forces of Sardinian nature.