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Sheepfolds

If you come to Sardinia you must visit the sheepfolds in which Sardinian people are firmly represented. The origin of these huts comes from the financial and social organization of the town that used to live on goat-breeding. Once you visit them, you'll notice the ability, attention and patience used to build them. On the other hand, inside arrangement was clearly focused on organizing and exercising a control over the area.

The materials used for construction are juniper, which the Supramonte is rich of, and small calcareous blocks used for the circular shaped basement and for dry walling that could reach about 1 meter of height.

The second phase was characterized by the vertical elevation of small juniper beams that joined at the top in order to close the hut. A circular twist of juniper branches closed the hut, just like a hat. The entrance of the sheepfold named, "Su Ennale", is characterized by a juniper architrave supported by stumps of the same wood that are integrated as a pillar on the basement ends. All sheepfolds follow the same kind of construction as the stalls set for animals.

These were built with great intelligence as well. In order to create right conditions and temperatures for animals, they were built with care and attention. Living-space was well organized too: there were places for adult animals and other ones for goatlings called, "gerine".

The sheepfold named "Ovile de Sa Sedda Eranu" remains in our memory because it was set on fire. This construction is worth mentioning because it was built in a very original way. If you consider the places and conditions in which shepherds worked in, you will certainly remain astonished. It seems amazing how they could be built just with mass of stones and wood.

The entrance is placed towards the sun rise because of the relation with sheep farming seasons. The word "Eranu" means in fact spring and this sheepfold was the shepherd's home during spring time. Old stories tell that the sheepfold "Sa Sedda Eranu" was built by a shepherd called "B. Mereu".

The relation between Sheepfolds' displacement and seasons shows us why work was organized in such way in the long period. Building skills, histories, and the surrounding environment, represent a valid reason to visit them. Sheepfolds are a bare testimony of Sardinia's social and economic past. This is true especially for Ogliastra and Baunei.

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