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Museo dell'intreccio mediterraneo di Castelsardo

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Religious basketmaking

The art of weaving palm leaves and olive branches is closely linked to the liturgical celebrations of the Christian Church, especially those relating to the Sunday before Easter (Palm Sunday). On this occasion the faithful wove palm leaves into artifacts used to embellish the sacred places of worship or to use in the processions and rites of the Christian Passion. In the Sardinian tradition the blessed palm and olive branches also acquire the virtue of being able to defend people and things from the devil. Hence the practice of placing the woven palms in a predestined place in the house; the tradition of giving gifts of these artifacts of good omen; in Santa Giusta the palm is positioned in order to give protection to the fassoni's (local boats). The fiber used is wild dwarf palm, adorned with flowers and olive branches. For Easter baskets the date palm leaf is used (tree of which fruit does not ripen in Sardinia, its cultivation is therefore only for ornamental purposes, for the making of Easter and funereal baskets).

The basket weaving techniques are many, for example: knotted, with radial spokes, diagonal and perpendicular weaving, tubular intertwining, plaiting, coiling, bending.

The most commonly used symbols and images are:

  • The fish, symbol of Jesus Christ
  • The Cross, symbol of sacrifice
  • The pine, symbol of abundance
  • The walnut which symbolizes the one and only God
  • Three walnuts, symbol of the Trinity
  • Seven walnuts, the 7 capital sins
  • Eight walnuts, symbol of the resurrection
  • The stars, symbol of the majesty of the creator
  • A ring, symbol of union
  • A heart, symbol of love
  • Bells, symbol of Easter and the resurrection
  • The snake, symbol of sin
  • Filaments, symbol of beneficial rain
  • Filaments with a ball of wax, symbol of destructive rain
  • A nail, symbol of the crucifixion
  • The lily, symbol of virginity
  • The miter, symbol of the church's authority
  • The hammer, symbol of the crucifixion.
  • The winged cross, symbol of Christ's suffering
  • A ladder, symbol of ascent to heaven
  • The lance and the sponge, symbols of the passion of Christ
  • The nuraghe, symbol of protection from evil
  • su passiu (celebrant's palm) symbolizes the passion of Christ
  • Flowers symbolize joy for life
  • Head of wheat, symbol of the Eucharist
  • The grape, symbol of wine

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