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Corbule, Canestri and Pontine of Castelsardo: a story of interweaving


Monday 23 october 2017

Sardinian craft tradition is very rich and partly unexplored. Among the typical things, the famous baskets, spread throughout Sardinian territory and which gain a special value in the village of Castelsardo.

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Corbule, Canestri and Pontine of Castelsardo: a story of interweaving

The Sardinian tradition of craftsmanship has an extremely rich and varied history with regard to the art of weaving and production of baskets: this is due to the vast amount of raw materials that can be used successfully in this practice, such as the asphodel , rush, straw and dwarf palm.

This art of primitive origins is spread throughout Sardinian territory, but each area retains its typical character: substantial differences in intertwining, decoration, but above all in the material used. The materials were carried by corbulas, street vendors; in the hinterland and in the hilly areas spread the asphodel, while the flat areas and the sea used the rush, wheat or dwarf palm. These artifacts then acquire a dual function: for domestic and work use, the latter, pischedda are made of reed, more durable and practical, equipped with handles.

The characteristic baskets of the village of Castelsardo are the Corbules and the Canestri.
To make a difference is the shape of these two containers: the Corbules have the small base and the high edges, truncated-conic shape and variable size. They were used for baking operations: the smaller ones to conserve the yeast, the larger ones to keep the bread large throughout the week; thanks to their structure they allowed to keep together and collect the shape of the bread.

The Canestri have a lower edge than the Corbules, around 10 cm, and they can also have different sizes. These were also used for baking: they were both part of the bridal bread kit. Medium sized baskets were used to make and contain dumplings and bread while large ones to keep flat bread that was then covered with a canvas.

Another typical container of Castelsardo is the large, cylindrical or jade-shaped container, with a special lid that was usually used to store linen, chickpeas, beans and foods in general. Today, these baskets are used as umbrellas, magazines or lingerie. Other baskets have ornamental function, such as center-table, under-roof or hanging on the walls, where they decorate and remember local traditions. The baskets are among the first objects born as an indispensable tool for family life.

These wonderful local handicrafts are experiencing moments of criticality, production is declining drastically, but their charm does not stop to conquer anyone who goes around Sardinian territory. Also interesting is the choice of colors: black and white in the hinterland areas, reflecting a more austere Sardinia, and shimmering colors on the coast, all of them primordial red.

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