National Geographic : 1923 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE NO RUBBER HEELS IN SARDINIA In the summer time the women and children of the Iglesias district go entirely barefoot or wear a rough plank of wood attached to the foot by a broad band of elastic across the toes. When walking in the streets of the villages, these sandals make a peculiar clacking noise on the stones. This bread, having little yeast in it, lacks the flavor of the fermented variety, and has different names. In northern Sardinia it is called carta di musica (paper to write music on). In Barbagia, as at Desulo, Aritzo, and Sorgono, they call it pillonca (see page 25). In autumn, flies are a great nuisance in Sardinia. They cover every inch of the kitchen tables and every particle of food. In the Campidano houses, whose main features are cleanliness and order, these winged pests have relentless enemies in the housewives, who employ all means to banish them; but in the villages situated in the center of the island, where cleanli ness is not at all in accord with the beauty of the scenery, the tourist unaccustomed to such sights becomes terrified and swears never to taste such bread, remem bering his lessons in hygiene. He won ders how the people live and thrive. Fortunately, the fire which burns briskly inside the oven destroys the germs. The aromatic shrubs by which it is fed send out a smoke which has a distinctive odor. Instead of escaping through the chimney, it often oozes out between the weathered tiles of the roofs. The whole village reeks with smoke, which tells the visitor that it is baking day. CURIOSITY IS A CHARACTERISTIC OF THE ISLANDERS In the villages the people are rather in quisitive. They gather around the tourist and ply him with questions, seeking to know everything about his errands. At Desulo particularly the women are ex tremely curious. "Why did you come?" "Are you single or married ?" "Where do you intend to go?" Such questions every visitor must answer if he desires peace. If he carries a camera, the affair be comes even more serious. Children, as numerous as flies, collect around the un happy man, and are so bold as to thrust themselves even between the legs of the camera tripod. Each wants his picture taken, and has uncanny ability in finding the very spot where he is not wanted.