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With Illustrations from Natural-Color Photographs by Colonel Luigi Pellerano N MOST other parts of Europe fine of a brilliant color and varies greatly in old costumes of other days have en- size and shape with the locality.

tirely disappeared, but in Sardinia, if The women of Aritzo, who wear one one visits the right places at the right of the richest and most original costumes time, beautiful souvenirs are still to be on the island, affect a tongue-shaped found of times when the pageantry of the apron of scarlet, faced and banded in Middle Ages expressed itself even in the bright blue. Other villagers wear long, everyday dress of the common people. dark aprons much embroidered in bright

There are almost as many variations of colors (see Color Plate VII), while still costume on this Mediterranean island as others wear fan-shaped ones with a rubythere are villages, for each little commu- red center and a wide white border garnity has some feature of its own.

nished with figures of blue and gold. locality a certain combination of colors The white waist is worn beneath the may be used exclusively, while in another bodice, and the kerchief, perhaps white, the cut of the apron or the arrangement but generally of bright hue, covers the of the headdress may be the distinguish- head and sometimes the shoulders, and is ing characteristic.

brought together under the chin with a These differences in village styles were fancy pin (see Color Plates III and VII). once to be found all over Europe and may The exact origin of this kerchief or be traced to the remoteness and compara- head-cape is unknown, but it dates far tive isolation of places in medieval times. back intu antiquity, as the head of a statOn the Continent they have been ironed uette of the Goddess Vesta in the Etrusaway by contact, but in Sardinia efficient can Museum at Gori, Italy, is draped in and easy means of transport are of more much the same style as that popular with recent development, and some of its moun- the women of Sardinia to-day. tain solitudes have not yet felt the full So impressive are the costumes of some force of this standardizing influence. of the peasants that the occasion of their

leaving church on Sundays and fête days A SOBER-MINDED PEOPLE FOND OF COLORS

has been likened to a scene at the court Although the Sards are essentially a of some prince of the Arabian Nights. sober-minded people and not particularly The flaming reds, blues, and purples are addicted to display in other respects, their frequently decorated with gold lace and costumes are riots of blue, scarlet, orange, brocade, and as the worshipers descend green, and all the shades that go between. the church steps with their silver and These are often elaborately embellished mother-of-pearl rosaries in their hands, with embroidery, gold lace and brocade, the richness of their costumes, the beauty and gold and silver buttons. Many of the of their faces, and the background of odd finer ones have been handed down from balconied houses all combine to produce generation to generation and possess, in a truly medieval atmosphere. Last among addition to their not inconsiderable in- the women

come the widows, dressed trinsic value, the sentimental significance usually all in black. of heirlooms. While varying so widely in color and

THE WIDOW'S MOURNING USUALLY LASTS style, there are certain features common to nearly all the island costumes. The The widow's dress is not the same apparel of the Sardinian woman consists throughout the island. While in most of a heavy skirt of silk or wool, a white places she must wear the black habit of waist, a colored bodice or corset, an apron, mourning all her life and endure an exand a sort of kerchief to cover the head. istence as somber as the color of her gar

The skirt is sometimes of a sober hue, ments, in some villages only a kerchief but may be of scarlet, blue, orange, or of black is worn, and she may continue to purple (see Color Plate III). Over it gratify her love for bright colors in the is worn the apron, which is nearly always rest of her costume (see Color Plate V).


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Autochrome by Luigi Pellerano CAMPIDANO COURTSHIP Among the villages of the great Sardinian plain (Campidano), which stretches for fifty miles from citadel-crowned Cagliari to Oristano, these brilliant and costly peasant costumes are seldom seen nowadays. The beautifully fabricated grillwork over the well is a relic of the age when Spain dominated this island hub of the western Mediterranean (see "The Island of Sardinia and Its People" in the National Geographic Magazine for January, 1923).


Autochromes by Luigi Pellerano

Only on feast days and Sundays do the men of Oliena wear this gay attire. Many of the Sardinian women have a serenity of expression which would

have delighted old masters seeking models for Madonnas.


Autochrome by Luigi Pellerano
The mother and daughter, at the left, wear the relatively somber garb of the southern mining region, while the brilliant plaited skirt and elaborate
embroidery worn by the young woman at the right proclaim her as a resident of Osilo, a northern village which boasts the most beautiful costumes in



Autochrome by Luigi Pellerano

A FAIR SASSARESE She dwells among the gray-leaved olive groves and vast vineyards of the northern province of Sassari, and speaks a Tuscan dialect, recalling the fact that in the Middle Ages her city was a Pisan colony.

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