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This place belongs to the group:
BEYOND
CHARACTERS
GOOD/BAD
CURIOSITY
SACRED FEMININE
RARITY

RITUALS

 
LURAS (OT) - GALLURAS MUSEUM
THE LAST HAMMER OF "FEMINA AGABBADORA"



Article and photos by Isabella Dalla Vecchia - info@mysteriousplaces.it
Traduction by Ilaria La Porta - laportailaria@virgilio.it

Chapters:
The Museum
Flat floor – Work
First floor - Family
Second floor – Cork and wool
The hammer of "Femina Agabbadora"
The hammer of "Femina Agabbadora"

The Museum

Museum Galluras is a private museum born thanks to the effort and passion of two people from this land who have been able not only to save the house where it is, but also all the objects that were used in this village. Going from one room to another  allows to discover that every tool had its own life and utility but meanwhile permits to understand the serious, intelligent and humble organization of the life from the past which, well knowing the importance of every single tool,  knew how to use,  respect and recycle it, giving in this way a deep importance to everything and avoiding the wastage of today life.

Looking around the museum we find out that everything which  was useful to the family and to its wellness was produced at home, from the everyday bread to the most complex objects as shoes. Walking around the room it is impossible not to became aware of a silent accusation toward our modern society which, on the contrary,  pushes us to buy and throw away everything without giving a real value beside the money, money that paradoxically we use to buy those things that we throw away. The museum is not only a place where we can take a look to our past but it can help to learn from our ancestors so to give again a mean to our future.

The museum contains over 5000 finds patiently collected and saved from the end of 1400 up to the beginning of 1900 by PIER GIACOMO PALA who takes care of planning, management and promotion. Here all has been used and handed on from father to son. A very interesting conducted tour with a detailed telling allows the visitor to live again every setting and the feeling to be cast back in time. To step in from the main door means to go back to the old Gallurian life breathing its everyday reality. Birth, childhood, love, death, rebirth … this place contains all of this.

Flat floor – Work

A great space is dedicated to the work which was the main means of support either for money gain and for pure nourishment.  It was necessary to “auto-produce” everything that was needed for oneself and the family, from the cap to cork a vine bottle up to the wine itself. 

The flat floor is dedicated to agriculture, sheep farming and wine production. It is possible to touch the most various objects used in the  field and for the production of by-products from milk and wine. It is present a particular collection of corkscrews and among them a pocket one. There is also a wagon.

First floor - Family

First floor is dedicated to the house with a kitchen, dining room and sleeping room. In the dining room there is a sideboard , a chest to keep bread, a plate rack, an extendable table. It was a gathering and joyful place, often people met in front of the chimney listening to tellers who used to go from one  house to another (like medieval street singer, profession out of fashion not too long ago).

In the kitchen there is an explosion of every kind of tool, here all was done at home, from bread to biscuits. In the dresser are visible some kind of “wedding bread”, an elaborated bread that was donated the day of marriage as a prosperity sign. Samples that can be seen in this place are from 1945 and it is a rarity since bread doesn’t last more than 7/8 years.

In the sleeping room the first thing that you will notice is the corner where shoes were fixed, which is a curious matter since the family leaving in this house was a well-off family. The capacity to fix shoes was important also for the rich families since they were considered an indispensable object, very expensive.

Who was able to mend them was a lucky person because he’d saved a lot of money. All requested tools were kept in the parents bed room because this area was forbidden to children, avoiding this way to get harmed by these complicate tools.

Second floor – Cork and wool  
Last floor is dedicated to cork and wool making. There is an horizontal loom which was used laying. 

The hammer of "Femina Agabbadora"

In the bed room at first floor there is an incredible object, the last one that can be find in all Sardinia which makes this museum the unique to have it. On the late ‘800 bed which is embellished by the head in beaten iron, is present a velvet black pouch which contains the hammer called “Femina Agabbadora". You have to loosen the knot  slowly and with attention because what will be taken off doesn’t brings with it only an heavy physical weight but also a moral one. The hammer, very heavy, is made of olive seasoned wood, it is 42 cm. long, 24 cm large and it has a handle which allows to hold it in a very tight way so to be able to give a strong and certain hit. 

At first sight it seems a normal tool, but this is not correct because it was used by “Femina Agabbadora", women that had the assignment of "to end" a terminal sick person, activating so a sort of ancient euthanasia. The woman was called by the same family of the ill person, but only when he resulted incurable and prey to atrocious sufferings. It was a dark woman, at times resident in the same country, that dealt him with this grisly practice, considered a "positive" work  because she knew how to bring the "relief", whereas physician and prayers miserably failed. They were dressed in black and they wore a mantle, a grisly coincidence does her "to resemble" to the Death, and when you saw one of them, in effects someone had to die.

The last episodes are more recent than what can be thought, one goes up to 1952 in Orgosolo and one in Luras in 1929. Curious the record worded by the policemen on the last "euthanasia" in which the death of the sick is justified with the fact that "the family  have given the consent of it."

The ritual of Femina Agabbadora

There was an exact ritual to be followed once the family where the very ill person was, decided to take the terrible decision to call the “Femina Agabbadora”.
First of all was put a yoke under the pillow for three nights and three days. It was the first step to the “magic” ritual within which the ill person was pushed to “go back to life” since the existence of everybody was to work in the fields.

If the ill kept suffering the ritual went on with a confession in the family, the “AMMENTU” . In his ears was recalled to him his sins (also the one that where forgotten) to give him the possibility to repent before his last breath. What might happen was that the ill dye under the psychologist stress. Sometimes he felt better because he was afraid to go to hell and for his will to revenge. He was going back to life because he wanted to make amend of his sins and for to chase a second opportunity. Sometimes it worked!

If the ill wouldn’t get better they tried to have a very strong physical reaction putting him, all bandaged with cold fabric in a barrel, the last possibility to cool off the high fiver with the result that very often he would have died for a fulminating pneumonia!

Therefore, where the magic, psychology and fiscal attack would have not worked it was necessary to carry on the last act, and after a very important meeting with all the family, it was decided to call the Agabbadora . Actually it was like to call the Death in person, she would have arrived in the night, covered by a black mantle, holding the hammer instead of the sickle. She put the tool on the ill’s windowsill but would have stepped in the house from the main door saying “ would God be here”. She was taken to the  room of the ill to show that this was what everybody wanted. She would cross all of them and close the door. After she did her “duty” she would have called all relatives and would have cried with them the ill’s death. An euthanasia done with all its regulations.

The figure of  Femina Agabbadora is surrounded by darkness in Sardinia even if on her have been written some books. It was an hard job but necessary for an often poor family which worked very hardly for its own support. A dying person would give to all of them great sufferance and problems.

A natural selection “helped” by a social organization which allowed to say good-bye to a beloved person so to see her in the other world perfectly well feeling. A strange relationship with death, maybe macabre and frightful, but surely better and more reassuring than ours because to them the Death was almost a “person from the family ”…

OTHER SIMILAR MYSTERIOUS TOPICS:
BEYOND
CHARACTERS
GOOD/BAD
CURIOSITY
SACRED FEMININE
RARITY
RITUALS

OTHER MYSTERIOUS PLACES IN SARDINIA:
Sardinia

INFO
Address: Museo Galluras - Via Nazionale - Luras (OT)
Web of Museum: http://www.galluras.it/
Contact museum at: Tel. +39 079 647281ù
Tel. +39 368 3376321 - info@galluras.it

Article and photos by Isabella Dalla Vecchia - info@mysteriousplaces.it
Traduction by Ilaria La Porta - laportailaria@virgilio.it



www.mysteriousplaces.it - info@mysteriousplaces.it