Wonder  }  Folklore

Scano di Montiferro and s'Ainu Orriadore

An ancient Sardinian tradition now the star of the carnival

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Where is


09078 Scano di Montiferro OR, Italia (0m s.l.m.)


One of the best times to visit Sardinia is in winter. Does that sound strange? True, you don't enjoy the sea as much, but you do discover inland villages rich in history and tradition. Like Scano di Montiferro.

S'Ainu Orriadore: what it is and where it originates

Scano di Montiferro is a town located in the province of Oristano, in the hilly hinterland rich in panoramic views, history and traditions. And tradition itself gives a rare pearl during the Scano di Montiferro carnival: s'Ainu Orriadore. This is a traditional mask capable of par running a chill down the spine of even the most daring, because it represents the devil who came to capture the souls of the dying.

Why it is special: the legend

Legend has it that the devil came in the form of a donkey with chicken feet, or dog with donkey feet to announce death and steal souls. A terrifying appearance, well represented by the mask of s'Ainu Orriadore. The face is covered by the pelvis of a bovine or donkey, the body is hidden by a long sleeveless jacket made of ram's skin, the zimarra. The demonic donkeys roam the village armed with sticks and chains, throwing out ominous brays and cries.

A bit of history

The presence of this mask in the Scano di Montiferro carnival is rather recent, although the legend is very old. Over time, the figure of s'Ainu Orriadore had been forgotten, and it is only since the 1990s that a local association has managed to have it rediscovered by the village and introduced to visitors.

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Amici di Terras de Olia


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