4/377: Mamoiada


Sa Perda Pintà (or Stele di Boeli), detail

Very strong wind. It’s weather alert. The countryside covered by a veil of clouds / fog, the red African sky. But at least it’s not raining. It’s very warm and sticky, bad omen. The road is decent and not very long. I arrive in Mamoiada downhill, slowed down by the wind and pushing hard with my legs.

Storm coming

It is another warm welcome in the Town Hall. Free books, coffee at the bar, intense day program thanks to Andrea who will dedicate all the day to my visit. As we drink coffee, a storm of unseen violence is unleashed. Rain with vortexes, hail, waterfalls from the roofs.

Sa Perda Pintà (or Stele di Boeli)

Despite this I can enjoy the concentric circles of Sa Pedra Pintà (or Stele di Boeli), the menhir whose story is told to me by Alice from the Cooperative Meskes, a guide with no accent from Barbagia but on from Cagliari, like me!

Traditional male dress at the Pro Loco headquarters (pic by Andrea Puggioni)

Then at the Pro Loco headquarters they dress me in the traditional mamoiadino male dress.

Maschera di Mamuthone mask at the Mediterranean Masks Museum

I enjoy the beautiful and modern Museum of Mediterranean Masks with Mario, a very well prepared guide who tells me history and legends about the masks. And finally, I listen to a performance of a ‘a tenores’ chorus, with a glass of robust red wine!





At the primary school (pic by Andrea Puggioni)

At the local primary school I became a star. The teachers welcome me kindly and the children of other classes continue to enter the classroom filling it, even with buzz and voices. I explain my project in a few minutes and I already see lots of hands up, so I decide to open a question and answer session, much more fun than just hearing about me. Here are some questions:

– How do you make it uphill?
– Do you have a girlfriend?
– Where do you sleep?
– Could you not take an electric bike?
– What football team do you support?
– What if the bike breaks?
– Where do you eat?

Indeed, all the questions that adults have asked me in the last few months before departure. But then I also get statements passed for questions:

– I have three bikes, if you break yours, you’ll lend you one.
– Where my father lives there is only one municipality (and not 377 …)
– My cousin lived in Florence.
– Today, you are at our house for lunch!

And many others that maybe slowly will come to my mind. I conclude by signing dozens of diaries, and I invent a signature with a small bike / ukelele logo. Aw, children.