Il Carnevale di Samugheo
The main protagonists of Samugheo’s Carnival are:Su Mamutzone, a dumb mask whose visage is blackened by burnt cork who wears a sleevelesscoat of goat hides on a black fustian suit, with a belt from which several rows of harness-bells("campaneddas and trinitos") hang. On his chest, he carries brass and bronze cowbells.
S'Urtzu, the victim of the representation, wears a black billy-goat hide suit, kid-skin on his chestand one sole heavy cowbell, like the goat which leads the herd.
S'Omadore, the shepherd, with a long black overcoat and his visage covered with soot, holds “sa
soga" (the rope), a wand, a pumpkin containing wine and the goad.
In compliance with the tradition, by which the coming out was to be made in the evening, when thevillage bells were ringing, the mask make their first appearance during the holiday of Sant'AntonioAbate. The actual Carnival starts in the early afternoon of last Thursday before lent with thedressing, whose moment is intensively shared by the participants.
The rite mainly consists of a disorderly involving parade where the Mamutzones imitate the fightingof the goats on heat and jump, making the cowbells ring, while s’Urtzu chooses amongst the youngwomen he meets on his way the one he will simulate mating with. S'Omadore tries to lead s'Urtzu,beating and goading him; the latter falls on the ground several times and dies. The wine, an elementof the earth, will resuscitate him and he will raise again mooing: s'Urtzu dies to make the landfertile and is born again from it, thus symbolizing the eternal cycle of nature.