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In questa pagina, dall’alto: lavorazione del corallo, Bosa (NU); gioielli tipici sardi, “prendas”. Nella pagina a fronte: manufatti in corallo, Alghero (SS).

T

he heritage of a people is its history and its history must pass through material culture. The region of Sardinia is one of those territories that has recognised how to best conserve, enhance and continue its heritage of material culture in terms of artistic craftsmanship. A craft heritage that has remained intact over the centuries and whose roots go down in the deepest and most ancient history of the island. The recent book “Artigiani di Sardegna - Manos de Oro” (Craftsmen of Sardinia – Golden Hands), by Manlio Brigaglia, describes various processes still present today in Sardinian

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tradition. In a previous issue of our magazine we described the value and quality of Sardinian craftsmanship through textile, cane and wood products. But ceramics is also one of the island’s most ancient activities: the most important archaeological museums in Sardinia have ceramics from four to five thousand years ago. Shapes and signs distinguish the ceramics of Assémini, the capital of Sardinian ceramics, but Oristano and Dorgali are historically also among the most important centres of production. Along with the bread culture, ceramics for everyday use were the most

characteristic features of Sardinian houses, where everything was hand-made and where every object, tool and food was laden with symbols and domestic rituals. But another craft not to be forgotten is the whole culture and art that Sardinian craftsmanship has developed in metal processing. Just think of iron: a material that was present in every village (today see Benetutti, Orani, Nuoro and Cagliari) with one or more blacksmiths and skilled forgers. In addition to them were the master copper workers of Isidi and Tornara (see the famous cowbells) and the corporations of knife producers. Extremely useful knives where the blade (leaf-shaped) and the handle (made of horn) merge together into a single very “coherent” shape. Finally, from the mines of Iglesias, the precious silver shapes, while in Cagliari and Oristano they work filigree gold and in Alghero and Bosa they still work with coral. This jewellery is not only a hand-made product that tourists find in the best shops in Cagliari and Alghero, but it is also the obligatory accessory that rounds off Sardinian traditional dress. The costume, which is still used today in galas and festivals, seems to have been designed as a base for being decorated with jewellery. So the Sardinian craftsmen, through processing the coarser materials (stones and marbles) and the more refined ones (gold, silver and red coral) have shown, and indeed still do so, that they know how to use all the resources of their territory. The Sardinian craftsmen, today as in the past, represent the island’s culture and are the backbone of its economy: from the precious carpets with the skilled weaves, up to the many expressions of stone and ceramic shapes, the whole of Sardinia speaks of artistic craftsmanship.

Profile for Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d'Arte

Artigianato 53  

Italian Magazine about crafts and Arts

Artigianato 53  

Italian Magazine about crafts and Arts

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