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  Su Gologone

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The Oliena folkloric group “Su Gologone” was founded in 1970, by a group of impassioned people, not only to satisfy a need of entertainment but it had the aim of being stimulant component of the community in order to consent the preservation and the development of folkloric traditions and of being landmark for young people in order to let them approach custom, belonging to it and hand it down as people’s vital and living element.

In its 37 years, the group has participated to various national and international festivals, among which several “Europeade” editions.

The “Su Gologone” group takes its name from the karstic spring, in a beautiful resort, located 8 km from Oliena. Attractive destination of many tourists, this spring has being identified as a natural monument.

Oliena is a town of 8000 inhabitants in Barbagia, heart of Sardinia. Beneath the Supramonte mountain, boasts the Corrasi peak of 1463 m.

Its economy is mainly based on agriculture, sheep farming and handcraft, manufacturing local products. The town has an historical centre of houses and courts of unique designs and architecture of the maximum influence and expansion of the Mediterranean stile.

The most important celebrations are: Easter with “S’incontru”, “the meeting” of Jesus and Holy Mary; the day of the patron saint, “San Lussorio”, from 19 to 23 of August; the novena in the rural sanctuary of “Nostra Signora di Monserrat”, from 1 to 8 of September.

In all the celebrations you can admire the wonderful traditional costumes of women and the procession of knights and horses. It follows the taste of typical confectionaries and “cannonau - nepente" wine. Everything is framed by Oliena typical traditional dances.

The costume: The costume of Oliena is a living estate in almost every family. Elegant and grave, it has very antique origins and it’s quite unique in its genre. Oliena’s people exhibits its costumes on weddings and on most important festivals. Costumes have been handed down for generations so that it has been kept unaltered its uniqueness. Each costume was different from the other for its embroidery, its fabric, its materials and its jewellery depending on the rank of the family belonging to. Nowadays, there still are in town masterful artisans that rigorously embroider by hand, like once.

The costume worn by the members of the group is the kind of costume worn for celebrations, of middle high rank, particularly sumptuous and with laboured fabrics, embroideries and laces. There is a more simple variant of the costume worn by the senior citizens day by day.

The items that compose women’s costume are:

“su muncadore”: the principal element that characterizes Oliena’s women costume is the black “tibet” shawl, fold up in triangle shape and rolled in the front to “frame” the face, embroidered with flower patterns and made more precious with golden strings and hard semiprecious stones.

“sa tunica”: the skirt, richly pleated and in very fine dark red woollen fabric, adorned on its bottom with a satin tape embroidered or painted with flower patterns.

“sa vranda” the apron in black silk fabric with flowers embroidery;

“sa hamisa” the shirt of pale light blue cotton, rippled in the neck and in the wrists to make the sleeves wide to let them show up also wearing the jacket. It is adorned with very fine laces and bas-relief embroideries on the wrists and on the chest.

“su gipone” cloth jacket adorned with fabrics or brocade, depending on the rank of the family belonging to.

The shoes are locally handmade with calfskin and adorned with silk ribbons.


Men’s costume is less elaborate:

“su gipone” the red cloth jacket adorned with strips of  velvet and brocade;

“sa hamisa” cotton cloth shirt embroidered on neck and wrists;

“su carcione de uresi” trouser in wool.


The jewellery.

Jewelleries are of basic importance. Besides being beautiful ornaments, each of them have a symbolic meaning, usually for self-protection, generally given as present from the mother in law or from the husband.

“sa gutturada” a necklace in coral and gold for family unity;

“sos buttones” the golden buttons that wish virility or fertility;

“s’isprugadente e su cocco” amulets against evil eye;

“su sole” golden pendent for women’s neck that symbolises family affection.


The dances.

Oliena distinguishes itself also for its dances, unique and characteristics in their genre. They never miss: in every festival, every wedding, feasts and popular events, dances are evidence of an ancient, felt, living tradition. Dances are like real rituals: men and women joined as a chain, they get in circle to figure the sun and the moon, expressions of life, as nature renews itself. Dancing, they wish for a good crop and welfare: the higher they jump, the higher grows the ear of corn.

Our repertoire is composed by these dances: “su passu torrau”, “su ballu tundu”, “su dennaru”, “s’arciu”, “s’arciu hantihu” e “su durdurinu”.

While the “passu torrau”, the “ballu tundu” and “dennaru” are quite simple to be performed and can resemble to other Sardinian dances, “s’arciu”, “s’arciu hantihu” and “su durdurinu” are a lot more challenging and are exclusively typical of Oliena’s tradition. They are all very ancient and they have been kept safe and handed down for generations. Especially “su durdurinu”, that is Oliena’s dance for wholeness, the most antique and mysterious, of unknown origin. It probably has pagan origins. It is danced by skilled dancers, music sung by a monodic voice that interspaced by the rhythm of the footsteps. Nowadays, we still perform these dances outdoors, on the occasions of religious feasts, weddings, carnival and every event you can celebrate.

Dances music are sung by singing “tenore” and by one voice, and played by barrel organ.


 The “tenore” singing is a typical chorus traditional of the centre of Sardinia. It is performed by a soloist, who intonates and guides the song, and accompanied by three choralists (with three different ranges of voice named “mesuvohe”, “bassu” and “contra”) who perform an archaic chorus that imitates animals sounds. Living in a pastoral life, they imitate the animals they have close (pork, beef and lamb). These three voices melt to form a melodic chorus unique in its kind. In each performance, these chorus express the singer’s will and mood (sad, happy, in love…). It has a cadenced rhythm and can be well used for traditional dances.

This millenary singing has been defined by Unesco as “intangible patrimony of humanity”.