The Museo delle Maschere Mediterranee aims to be a point of contact between the cultural universe of a small Sardinian inland village, Mamoiada - universally recognized for its traditional masks, the Mamuthones and the Issohadores -, and Mediterranean regions that, as the carnival masks reveal, are closely historically and culturally related. The Museum particularly focuses on several types of masks, especially wooden zoomorphic and grotesque facial masks, sheepskin and cowbells or other instruments producing harsh jarring sounds. Shepherds and peasants believed these masks to have the power to influence the agricultural year; for this reason, despite their terrifying aspect, they waited for their visit to ingratiate them by offering food and drinks. The museum doesn't only feature the masks of Mamoiada, but also a comparative exhibition of finds from different Mediterranean countries that highlights the similarities, and not the differences, between these areas.
The Museo delle Maschere Mediterranee has 3 rooms: the Multivision Room, the Barbaricino Carnival Room and the Mediterranean Room.
The Multivision Room features three dark panels, where striking images of the Mamuthones and Issohadores, skillfully commented by Bachisio Bandinu, are projected. In this room, visitors can enjoy the crucial moments of the parade of Mamuthones and Issohadore, including the festival of St. Anthony the Abbot (January, 17th) and the original Carnevale Mamoiadino (Mamoiada's Carnival).
The festival of St. Anthony the Abbot is the most important festival in Mamoiada: people light big fires in the village districts and the Mamuthones and the Issohadores make their first appearance of the year and parade around the bonfires, repeating a propitiatory ritual of pagan tradition, associated to the cycle of seasons, the cult of water and the abundance of crops. This festival ushers in the "Carnevale mamoiadino".
The Barbaricino Carnival Room features a traditional and instructive exhibition of the masks of Mamoiada (Mamuthones and Issohadores), Ottana (Boes, Merdules and Filonzana) and Orotelli (Thurpos), whereas the Mediterranean room is dedicated to the carnivals of the Alpine arc, the Iberian Peninsula and the Balkan Peninsula.
|Museum name:||Museo delle Maschere Mediterranee|
|Full address:||Piazza Europa 15, 08024 Mamoiada (NU)|
|Phone:||+39 0784 569018 / fax 078456719|
June - September: daily tours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.