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Sa Sartiglia, history on horseback
If the acknowledgement of ones history and the attachment to ones heritage are important in the culture of a population then "Sa Sartiglia" constitutes one of the highest cultural values of the Oristanese. Established during the Judiciary age as a feast for the ruling class it has been preserved and defended by the people of Arborea during their darkest periods. Becoming enriched through the centuries with new and complex rituals, from the evolution of the Giudicale society in a new agricultural: civilization to become representative of the historical. cultural and social changes of the Oristano people. The original idea came from a Saracen Military tournament, imitated probably by the Christian Cavaliers of the second: crusade and imported to Europe during the XII cent. The main ritual consists in a race on horse back at full speed and the piercing of a ring hanging on a rope with a lance or sword. The Oristanese cavaliers probably learnt the secrets from the Pietro D'Aragona army in 1323 during; the siege of Villa de Chiesa. In fact the name Sartigha derives from the Spanish "Sortja" (ring) as is the word "Cumponidor" (componedor) Captain of Arms who was the absolute commandeering officer and was chose between those cavaliers bearing the highest lineage or military valour. For about 150 years, until the fall of the Marchesato di Oristano to the Spanish at the battle of, Macomer in 1479 the Sartiglia remained a military tournament between high ranking cavaliers without having any connection with carnival or the use of masks. It was probably held several times during the year on important occasions. The route being between the Palazzo dei Giudici (now g district prison) and the forecourt of the Basilica di S. Map then the seat of the Corona de Logu (Giudicale parliament) Villagers and stablemen quite as able horsemen as the, nobles and masters vented their desire for feasting by racing outside the city walls in pairs and improvising spectacular events in the narrow streets between Porta Manna and those of Portixedda.