Traditional costumes: the fashions of the past


Details and description

Religious Festivals provide a great opportunity to get to know one of the most personal aspects of the island’s heritage: traditional costumes. You are sure to be impressed by the different fabrics and textures of these finely embroidered costumes, a legacy of fashions in the past. You will see a parade of costumes with varied colours, fabrics and decorations. Within the same community, the richness of the clothing would vary with the social status of the wearer, but the main variations are due to the different places of origin. You will be able to enjoy this important aspect of Sardinian folklore, and observe this historic tradition of local costumes that is still very much alive in the present.

One of the most sumptuous costumes worn by local women includes a wide pleated red skirt, in wool or “orbace” (rough woollen fabric), known as a “sa fardetta de sa mesu grana”. This is covered by a black, embroidered or printed apron, called a “su ventalliccu”. The upper part of the woman’s body is wrapped in a satin bodice, partly covered by a silk shawl. These “su bistiri a sa nostrana” costumes were worn by middle-class women, together with fine jewellery made by Sardinian craftsmen.

On the other hand, the “sa massaia” costume of the housewife is much simpler, and worn with a red satin bonnet and wooden clogs. Her only piece of jewellery is her wedding-ring.

The “su massaiu” costume worn by men is both sober and distinguished. It is made of black “orbace”, and features a waistcoat with a double row of gold buttons and a red handkerchief tied at the belt. His feet are clad in high boots surmounted by gaiters, while his head is topped by the typical round black hat known as a “berritta”.

This is just a taster of the colourful spectacle to be seen in the streets of Sant’Antioco during the Saint’s Day celebrations. The air is filled with the scents of mint, myrtle or lavender, sprinkled on the ground before the procession, but also with the sound of traditional music, and songs and prayers in the Saint’s honour.


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