Il carnevale (The carnival) in Mamoiada

The Carnival in Mamoiada one of the most famous events of Sardinian Folklore and the “mammuthone” is arguably the most known mask of the Sardinian carnival.

Mammuthones wear a heavy sheep fur, a wooden mask with a pain expression and sa carriga, a burden of bells as heavy as 30 kg.

Along with Mammuthones, there are the Issohadores, with a white shirt and pants, red jacket and a white mask.


Mammuthones parade in groups of 12 as a representation of the 12 months. The Issohadores in groups of 8 lead the parade with complex dances.

During the parade the mammuthones walk slowly and when required scroll their carriga simultaneously in order to ring all their bells at once. The Issohadores, on the other hand, move rapidly and nimbly and use their ropes to capture the onlookers. The price for the freedom will be a drink offered to the Issohadore.

The origins of the Carnival are unknown. Some people reckon that it probably goes back to the Nuragic era as a way to venerate the animals or to protect from the spirits.


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