Jewels that belong to the Sardinian tradition, that dates back to a long past age, deeply linked to the cultural and historical roots of my Island.
In the past, jewels and amulets were handed down from one generation to another,not just for the value of the precious materials they were made of, but especially for their sentimental values and symbolic meanings. Sacred and profane were fused in these jewels as well as history and legend, and they can be seen as a trade union, a bridge between mankind and divinity, hence their mysterious origins.
According to various legends, their origin has to be seen in the ancient myth of the Sardinian fairies, the so-called Janas, who were experts in weaving and realizing very refined crafts and objects. But this another story I will tell you later on…
In the imaginative origins of these jewels,deeply sorrounded by legendary stories, we can find the expression of a sort of supernatural power which these jewels carry and portray. “Sas Prendas” are the main part of an incredibly vast variety of objects, but here I will talk about just a few of them and in particular I will talk about the ones linked to the wedding traditions.They are all embellishments used for the various traditional costumes of the local villages and small towns.We can see filigree rosaries belonging to the Christian tradition and at the same time talismans to protect from bad luck and diseases typical of the profane beliefs.
Every piece of jewelry had a different meaning and was used for different purposes, even if nowadays they are mainly used as jewels.
Some were considered capable of providing blessings or to prevent from bad luck while other jewels were considered a symbol of a bond. This type of jewels were typically used in weddings, and their exchange during an engagement or wedding was the symbol of an official promise.
The jewels production varies from a province to another,as well as their shapes, deeply linked to the local traditions and popular beliefs. jewels like buttons,cufflinks, brooches, rings,pendants,charms, chains and amulets are all made of gold, sterling silver, with filigree and coral decorative parts as well as shells and semi-precious stones. The presence of this type of jewels in Sardinian families shows a sense of belonging and attachment to ancient traditions and history. they are a tangible and eternal symbolic presence in time, which mirrors the strong character of the island and its people.
If we talk again about weddings, a very important role is played by the “MATRIMONIO SELARGINO” , typical wedding in the village of Selargius. The main feature is represented by a big silver chain, with round links, about one meter long. at one end the chain has a hook in the shape of a heart used by the groom to wrap around the bride’s waist and on the other end a ring that the bride puts into the groom’s finger.
Other jewels typically linked to wedding traditions are obviously rings. In the past rings could only be worn by engaged women as they symbolize a committment of faith
Other jewels, very much linked to wedding traditions, are obviously rings. One of the most symbolic was the “MANINFIDE“, a very unique ring in the shape of two holding hands, that represented the official engagement.According to the tradition, the groom-to-be had to give this ring as a precious gift to the bride who would give him a knife, finely decorated in brass and with a horn handle.
The SARDINIAN wedding ring, la “FEDE SARDA” is still the most importatnt and iconic of all jewels, but we will thoroughly talk about this later on.
The button, “IL BOTTONE“can also be considered as another representation of the Sardinian art of jewelry at its best, and its decorative features vary depending on the province, although it is usually round shaped, with gold filigree and a small cylinder on top which can contain a garnet or a turquoise, both semi precious stones very much used in the island. The shape of the button resembles the maternal breast, in particular the one of the ancient Punic female divinity TANIT, and therefore it is thought to bring prosperity and good luck.
“ SU COCCU”, is not simply a piece of jewelry, but a real amulet.
It had to be only given as a gift and it could protect from negative presences and influences, after having been charged with powerful prayers.
It had to be donated by mothers, grandmothers and godmothers in order to provide good luck.
The COCCU is a sphere made of obsidian which is a stone that according to legends has a therapeutic and magical power.