Treasures Of Magic Origin: The "Janas" Of Sardinia 0 Comments
Sardinia, besides being such a beautiful worth to be visited and experienced, is also magical. Magical is the color of the sea, magical is the bursting of stories silence of the mountains, the magical legends … And at Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites, we are here to tell you all about them.
Fascinating stories about magic treasures can be found among Sardinian myths and legends. The scholar Gino Bottiglioni, in his book "Legends and Traditions of Sardinia", states that, during the incursions of various invaders throughout the centuries, the population buried their belongings hoping to subtract them from the aggressors. But as they often lost their lives or freedom during their raids, such treasures were forgotten in their secret place, rendering the Sardinian land an immense treasure coffer of hidden treasures. The legend says that the treasures were not to be found by chance. They were guarded by the Janas, fairies of the Sardinian mythology, so beautiful that even today is said bella comènti a giana to indicate a true beauty.
They lived in the Domus de Janas, tombs dug in the rock, or on top of the nuraghes.
The Sardinian term Domus de Janas has been translated into "Fairy Houses". They might be isolated or in groups up to 40 tombs. From the recent Neolithic up to the ancient Bronze Age, the Domus de Janas are found in all the island areas. More than 2,400 have been found and many are still to be excavated.
Often they are connected with each other, forming underground necropolises, with a common access corridor (dromos) and an atrium, sometimes spacious and with a high ceiling. The walls were decorated with high-relief magic symbols (stylized taurine horns and other designs such as zigzags, spirals).
The archaeologist Giovanni Lilliu writes: "... not infrequently the corpses were buried under white heaps of mollusc valves. But taking with them all tools and jewels of their earthly life: points of obsidian arrows, knives and axes of stone, and also necklaces, bracelets and rings of twisted copper wire, and many ceramics".
The Janas, the fairies, spent their time hand weaving with golden looms. They were benevolent and it was their decision who would be the mortal designated to receive the treasure they guarded. The means they did this was either through visions, or by means of a medium, or the supernatural entities called for three times, in the moon's night, those who they wanted to enrich. However the discovering had ceremonies to be followed and ritual phrases to be whispered in the night. They marked around them a circle, inside and out of which they had to place candles and to trace symbols among the smokes of incense, merging Christian prayers with aged cults invocations. This was an invitation to the "Guardian" to reveal himself. He could appear wearing terrifying shapes, this to test the spirit firmness of the treasurer's recipient. If the ritual was not performed in the supposed manner, not only the unlucky wouldn’t become rich but he could also have been sentenced to a life of misery, while the treasure was transformed into charcoal or relocated to some other secret place.
“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better.” (J.K. Rowling)
written by Daniela Toti
Photo credits Nicola Castangia