Abbasanta

From Academic Kids

Abbasanta is a small village set on the west side of Sardinia, on the main road that links Macomer to Oristano. It is 315 metres above sea level and has an area of 39.85 km².

It is set on a lava plateau rich in cork oaks, olive trees and lentischi. The plateau originated by the lava of the volcanic complex of Montiferru. The landscape of the lava plateau is characterised by pastures closed by dry-stone walls, which delimit the tancas originated in the 18th century. In the surrounding countryside, there are still some typical shelters (pinnete) made of stones and boughs by the shepherds.

In 2000, Abbasanta had 2827 inhabitants. In the past, the village was built all around the two churches of Santa Amada and Santa Caterina (dedicated to Catherine of Alexandria).

In the village the stone houses are characteristic. They are low and with few floors, without lodges, but usually with a back courtyard where some space was reserved to the domestic animals. This is a quite common architectural structure in such a centre traditionally not really involved with agriculture, but rather with sheep farming. The front room of the house was often the chicken, in the centre of which there was the hearth (in Sardinian language su foghile), that had even the function of drying the hanging cured pork meats. Later on, the fireplaces replaced the hearths.

In the past, there was a clear separation between social classes. The families arranged the marriages. The women had to work home and hide, so as not to be blamed. To have a baby without being married was a awful guilt that caused the inevitable marginalization. So women had traditionally to do all the domestic chores, but it was their job even the cultivation of line, from the sowing to the spinning. While it was menís jobbing the cultivation of vegetables and the preservation of alimony.

Until the 1950s the uses of Italian and Sardinian language had distinct and complementary functions. Italian was the official language, used by the public administration, while Sardinian was the language spoken home and among friends. The characteristic expressions of the dialect are usually inspired by the peasant and pastoral world. Many proverbs refer to the values of honesty, friendship, fidelity (of the woman), loyalty, parsimony and obedience to the divine will.

The whole Abbasanta's plateau is rich in archaeological monuments. Very close to the village is the nuraghe of Losa. The most important country church is set on the site of Sant'Agostino (dedicated to Augustine of Hippo). Around the rural church, there are some characteristic small houses (in Sardinian language muristenes or cumbessias) that host the pilgrims during the religious feasts.

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