Sartiglia is undoubtedly the most
spectacular and choreographic Carnival in Sardinia. This festival evokes faded recollections of duels
and Crusades, Spanish colors, echoes of a long lost nobility and agropastoral costumes that overlap
as if film sequences had been set up randomly.
|What does the name Sartiglia or Sartilla
(as it used to be called in Oristano) mean? This word derives from the Castilian word
"Sortija" which originates from the Latin word "Sorticola" which means ring and
Sors which means luck. The meaning of the word "Sartiglia" really includes the sense
of competition, which is a race to the ring, to the star, but also it is a festival linked to luck.
It is an event in which ancient agricultural rites, through which the people used to ask the Gods for
fertile land and abundant crops, are easy to be found.
|The origins of these rites are lost in
time. In Sardinia the chivalry races with their oriental influence were imported from Spain where
they were common among the Mori. The Sartiglia existed in Oristano before the mid XIII century. It is
probably that many of the judges and pages from "Giudicato dArborea", who were
trained at the Court of Aragonese where ring exercise were practiced, introduced the Spanish Sortija
or Sortilla to Oristano. This Sartiglia underwent many evolutions but has continued. In the past the
race was an exhibition by the nobility. Only afterwards did the Sartilla involve other social classes
that were excluded before, in this way becoming an expression of life, costumes and popular culture.