306/377: Pau


San Giorgio church

A few kilometers of gentle ascent that gets even closer to Monte Arci and I arrive in Pau, the obsidian place par excellence.

I arrive in the Town Hall square, embellished with large blocks of dark rock, sculptures that symbolise the “black gold” of ancient times, and I am greeted by the Mayor Franceschino and his deputy Danilo.

After settling in the municipal housing, we take the car to visit the area behind Pau. We are on the western side of Monte Arci, one of the large volcanic complexes of Sardinia.

S’Ennixeddu woods

We arrive at the naturalistic oasis of S’Ennixeddu, at about 600 meters above sea level. The whole area is rich in holm oaks and cork oaks, very green. In addition to the important “obsidian way” that I will visit later with the girls from the museum, the “way of the scops owl” was established here at the end of the Otus project, as the area seems favorable to the settlement of these nocturnal birds of prey. Panels explain the life of solos and other nocturnal birds of prey such as barn owls, owls and owls.

Not far from here is the archaeological site Su Forru de Is Sinzurrieddus, still to be excavated, in which important silver finds have been found. We continue by car through the woods until we reach the campsite, a series of wooden bungalows surrounded by greenery for holidays in contact with nature!

North side of Monte Arci

We continue along the slope of Monte Arci, crossing forests of holm oaks rich in water sources, and we arrive at the top from where the view of the woods that slope north towards the territory of Palmas Arborea is majestic. Returning to the town we stop at the Santa Prisca rural church, just below the lava ridge.

The “obsidian way” at Sa Scaba Crobina

In the evening I meet Giulia and Maria Cristina of the Menabò association that manages the obsidian museum. The first stop of the visit is with Giulia who leads us to the S’Ennixeddu area where the ancient workshops for the production of obsidian objects were located.

We walk among the greenery and slowly the presence of obsidian flakes becomes more and more important, until we arrive at Sa Scaba Crobina, literally the “crow staircase”, an uphill path almost exclusively made up of fragments of black obsidian mixed with the foliage of the trees .

Obsidian Museum

Giulia passionately explains how the rough pieces were worked and, taking some fragments from the ground, she shows how to give the perfect blow so that the splinters break along preferential directions that highlight circular bands.

View from the obsidian museum

We return to the village where, in the beautiful structure that houses the Obsidian Museum, the visit continues to discover all the aspects concerning this very particular volcanic stone which, if worked with skill, produces sharper blades than glass. It is useless to try to describe in words all the nuances that this stone can take, you have to come and see with your own eyes!






Work by Paulina Herrera

Even in a small village of about 300 inhabitants, important encounters can take place, meetings that broaden the knowledge, the vision of the world, physical and spiritual, with characters in flesh and blood or even characters physically absent, but present in another way.

In the afternoon I took a short tour of the center of Pau, and I was able to admire some works by the artist Paulina Herrera Letelier scattered here and there in the squares, on the walls. The project is called “Black stone and traces of black stone”, a three-dimensional mural art that incorporates objects and fragments of obsidian.

Paulina is one of those artists who have chosen Sardinia to live and work. She was born in Santiago de Chile in 1978, she graduated in Architecture at the Universidad Central de Chile and then moved to Cagliari where she received her PhD in Architecture. She currently lives and works in Cagliari. I hope to meet her in person soon, but already her art speaks a lot about her.

In the late evening, however, the presentation of Giovanni Impastato‘s book “Beyond the Hundred Steps” is held at the Obsidian Museum. I met Giovanni briefly yesterday at the Gramsciana Library of Villa Verde. But today I have the opportunity to hear and get to know Peppino’s sad story directly from his brother’s voice.

“It is the spring of 1977 when Peppino Impastato, together with a group of friends, inaugurates Radio Aut, a free radio in the true sense of the word. From Cinisi, fiefdom of the boss Tano Badalamenti, and from within a mafia family, Peppino shakes Sicily by denouncing the crimes of the mafia and the silence of his fellow villagers. A voice so powerful that a little more than a year later, on the night between 8 and 9 May, it is silenced forever.

But this too is one of the mafia’s mistakes: thinking short term. Because, even if it was not obvious, since then Peppino’s voice has never stopped talking, fighting for the dignity of people, lighting the way. It is a long way, if you think that even today those who misled the investigation into Peppino’s murder have made a career, while those who invoked the truth are no longer there. But it is a road traveled by thousands of people now.

For the first time, Giovanni, Peppino’s brother, who took over the baton, describes the situation of the mafias – and anti-mafias – in Italy, from the observatory of Casa Memoria and Centro Impastato, for forty years before line in the fight against organised crime”(Edizioni Piemme).