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Oliena and the Rite of the Encounter

The Murals of OlienaOliena and the Rite of the Encounter

Holy Week rites in Sardinia are particularly evocative, the most peculiar of which is the rite of S'Incontruthe Encounter, in Oliena. 
Oliena lies on the margins of the historic region of Barbagia di Ollolai, 6.2 mi from Nuoro and Monte Ortobene. 

During the rite, a group of women detach the statue of Christ from the Cross, and in the following days, men and women both seek out Christ Resurrected, stopping in all the churches of the town until Saturday, when the statue is rediscovered. 
On Easter Sunday a simulacrum of the Madonna searches for Christ, and finally encounters him after two processions through the town. 
All participants in the event wear the typical dress of Oliena, while citizens observe this unique reenactment of the Resurrection from the stands. 
In the moment when Christ and the Madonna meet, the celebration intensifies and, at the end of the procession, the two simulacrums are returned to the church for Easter Mass. 
Murals are also realized for the Encounter, with magnificent depictions pertaining to Oliena’s traditions. 

Traditional Dress of Oliena 
 
Su hustumene” in dialect means the costume, and refers to the typical dress of the people of Oliena. This clothing, that Olianesi both young and old wore until at least the 1930s, today are worn only by the oldest women here. 
Some of these dresses are quite elegant and highly-decorated with gold, while others are rather basic and worn on the average workday. 
Yet most often, the Su hustumene is saved for the town’s traditional, cultural and folkloric events and processions. Usually, traditional Sardinian costumes are made entirely by hand, utilizing difficult elaboration techniques that render them precious and very valuable.