YiS Team: Annalisa Bucci

Friday, April 5th, 2024


Arising in the centre of the island is the historical record of Sardinian textile art, in a village on the border between Oristano and Nuoro that have kept the artisan tradition alive.

The acronym stands for Museo Unico Regionale dell’Arte Tessile Sarda – being the Regional Museum of Sardinian Textile Art – and encompasses the value and vision of an institution that, since 2002, has been safeguarding, displaying and promoting the priceless heritage of the island’s manufacturing excellence. The MURATS is located in Samugheo, a village of Mandrolisai – a territory in the ‘heart’ of Sardinia divided between the provinces of Oristano and Nuoro – renowned to this day for its flourishing textile production. The geographic ‘isolation’ of the town meant that a prolific high-quality craft tradition endured, handed down from mother to daughter.

Created thanks to the discovery of artefacts once enclosed within the settlements of the houses in Samugheo and the rest of the island, the exhibition has been set-up throughout more than 750 square metres of a building in the outskirts. It is divided into three rooms, two being on the ground floor where the permanent collection is displayed, and one on the first floor dedicated to temporary exhibitions, which enhance the variety, value and even modernity of the textile art. The permanent collection consists in a body of artefacts in wool, cotton and linen, coming from various parts of the regional territory and created throughout a period of time spanning from the end of the 18th to the second half of the 20th century. The famous Cocco collection is also included. To be admired are blankets, bed sheets, children’s linens and items for everyday use, blanket chest covers, saddlebags, traditional clothing, shepherd’s garments, attire worn by the locals on a daily basis and for festivals, along with the tools used to make them, especially traditional wooden frames. Amongst the most particular items are the affaciadas, tiny finely-worked tapestries that are spread out along the balconies during the corpus domini. Of note due to their rarity and prestige are five 18th-century tapinos ‘e mortu (of twelve found in Sardinia), being carpets on which bodies would be placed during funeral vigils. Discovered in various areas around Sardinia (especially in Orgosolo), they are characterised by bold hues (yellow and black) and by a complex symbology of zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures that accompanied the deceased on their final journey, discovered in fabrics associated with burials in Anatolia, Peru and Christianised Egypt.

The museum creates a dynamic link between the community, the past, present and new trends. Through exhibitions and events, a cross-section of contemporary art is offered. Accompanying these are the organised workshops, seminars, laboratories, internships and traineeships. During the visit, there will be an educational journey consisting of a weaving trial. The event of the year hosted by MURATS (and Casa Serra in the old town) is Tessingiu, the exhibition of the most anticipated handicraft art in Sardinia, together with the Fiera dell’artigianato artistico di Mogoro that ‘weave’ the strands of know-how on crafts hailing from Sardinian locations that are distant from each other yet united by a common cultural ‘thread’.

Sardegna Turismo
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