Animas de Sardinia
Animas de Sardinia is a typical and traditional Sardinian handicraft business, born in the 1980s from a long family tradition and Gian Paolo Marras' passion for his island origins. Born in the Barbagia region of Nuoro and raised in Ottana, Gian Paolo, comes from a family very attached to maintaining popular traditions, especially that of Carnival, which on the island is a particularly heartfelt holiday, different from village to village and participated in by all.
A know-how handed down from father to son for generations, since the early 1900s. His father Gonario, in fact, already a son of art, carved traditional masks in the 1960s and passed this passion on to Gian Paolo, who even as a boy loved to make beautiful masks carved in pear wood.
Gian Paolo is also passionate about Sardinian gifts and home furnishings, strictly in Sardinian style: sculptures, masked faces, ethnic chandeliers are the other types of productions he makes, also satisfying the custom requests of his clients.
Mayor of Ottana from 2010 to 2015, Gian Paolo, has taken his works around the world, Bangkok, Paris, Stuttgart, Naples and Japan; his masks have been used by numerous singing artists in video clips and live concerts: the first were Tazenda with their Carrasecare, then Piero Pelù, Sergio Cammariere and the international bands Placebo and Madden Waves.
The concept behind Animas de Sardinia is to make people reflect, through ethnic and traditional works, on the disappearance of empathy between human beings, empathy that we easily find instead among masks, capable of uniting men, their stories and their lives.
With their masks, goat skins and cowbells, during Carnival in Sardinia, different figures walk through the streets evoking ancient rituals, propitiatory dances and the close relationship between man, animal and their instincts. Changing from area to area, from village to village, the parades maintain a whole series of common traits and refer to a unique origin: an ancient and violent cult linked to the fertilization of the earth.
The Sartiglia in Oristano, the fight between Mamuthones and Issokatores in Mamoiada or the parade of Merdules and Boes in Ottana are just some of the best known. The main figures of the Ottanese carnival are sos Boes, sos Merdules and Sa Filonzana, rarer are those of su Crapolu, su Molente and su Porcu.