Cagliari folk groups: Quartiere Villanova
Cagliari Folk Groups – Quartiere Villanova
Cagliari Folk Group owes its name to one of the most ancient districts of the town: Villanova quarter, that still cherishes some of the most ancient traditions of Cagliari. It was established in 1976 by a group of young people joined together by the interest for folklore and by a strong will to recover their own roots, that culminated in 1980 in the re-enactment of the wedding ceremonial according the tradition of Cagliari, documented in the book “Cagliari amore mio” by Cenza Thermes.
In 2006, the in-depth analysis of popular customs and traditions of Cagliari and its hinterland led the group to organise the ethnographic exhibition “Panetteras, arregatteris e piccioccus de crobi” , hosted by the Citadel of Museums, in which the Association showed its collection of clothes, both original and reconstructed, jewels, photos and ancient prints.
The activity of the Folk Group consists especially in performing choreographies within village feasts, where Sardinian religious and social traditions still express themselves in a faithful historical memory.
The dance group wears precious 18th and 19th century costumes of the town and performs a rigorously traditional repertory of ancient Sardinian dances, accompanied by the archaic sound of launeddas (Sardinian triple clarinet) and melodeon (diatonic button accordion).
The beauty of their costumes and their grace in dancing, bear the approval and the recognition of qualified observers. As a member of the F.I.T.P. (Italian Federation of Popular Traditions), patronised by UNESCO, the Group represents Sardinia and Italy in the most important national and international folklore festivals. In 38 years of activity, the Association has taken part to about 40 International Folklore Festivals in almost all the continents.
Female costumes have similar shape but usually change their colours depending on the owner’s taste. The everyday clothing was named “su bestiri de andiana”, after the skirt fabric. It is made up of the skirt, the shirt, the vest and the shawl crossed over the chest, with numerous jewels pinned on it. Hair is tied in a triangular kerchief called “su turbanti” on which lays another kerchief and a shawl, whose characteristics change according to the social status of the woman.
The costume worn on important feasts is called “su bistiri de sa panettera”. The reason why such an elegant and sumptuous clothing derives its name from a working woman (“sa panettera”, the baker), and not from a noble one, is purely historical: the last women who used to wear this costumes where the “panetteras” from the quarter of Sant’Avendrace. Its refinement is impressive, as well as its similarity to the 17th and 18th Iberian- Balearic costumes. In Cagliari, it used to be worn as a wedding dress, and then again on the most important feasts in a woman’s life. The costume is made up of a light blue satin skirt (“fardetta”) under a tulle apron (“deventali”), a shirt covered by a black vest (“gipponi”) and an embroidered shawl, the “mucadori a perra”. Hair is tied in a silk bonnet (“cambiscu”) covered by a red cape (“mantiglia arrand’e pratta”).
“Su bistiri de seda” (silk clothing) dates back to the end of the 19th century and shows the influence of the fin de siècle style.
Men’s clothing have different characteristics depending on the Guild. “Su carradori”, who accompanies the Saint’s carriage and leads the oxen, wears a red doublet with a black border “sa facchina”. The truncated cone shaped hat “su pibironi” is clearly influenced by the Moorish style.
“Su carrettoneri” (the carrier) wears a black and white costume with a black cap. The only coloured feature is the red waistband “sa fascadroxa”. “Su piscatori” (the fisherman) wears a shirt and a silk gilet. The red zoot trousers are completed by a sash, a black or blue jacket and a red truncated cone shaped hat. This is surely the costume that shows the greatest number of characteristics derived from the Mediterranean style.
Clearly influenced by the Spanish clothing, instead, is the greengrocer’s costume, that includes a bolero and a large brim hat called “su sombreri”.
The milkman’s costume, recently reconstructed thanks to some 1940’s prints found in Rome, is characterized by a red kilt and a blue jacket.
Contact the Folk Group
Address: Via Montegrappa 4/a - 09122 Cagliari
Facebook: Gruppo Folklorico di Cagliari Quartiere Villanova
President: Antonello Piras
Tel. +39 3925117463