The Janas

The Janas, little fairies of the Domus Little women with a whimsical mood, a bit witches and a bit fairy, as kind as they are evil, the Janas are imaginary creatures of the popular Sardinian tradition.

The Janas

The Janas

They are described as a species of very small fairies that live in caves carved out of the rocks, the Domus de Janas, the fairy houses. They come out at night only, so that the sun's rays do not damage their pale, soft skin. When, on moonless nights, they move to pray near the Nuragic temples, they have to walk steep paths covered with brambles.

To avoid thorns, the Janas become luminous: this clarity signals their presence. They are said to be spirit creatures, rather demons in the sense Greek of the term, namely small beings halfway between the human world and that of the Gods. The Domus are their “houses”, built into the rock. In fact the Domus are funerary caves dug in the ground or in the rock by ancient civilizations Sardinians, 5000 years ago.

The Janas are specialized in all types of domestic work: they weave splendid fabrics and prepare bread that is lighter than the host. According to legend, they have a golden loom and silver sieves for flour. But not only: they keep an immense treasure, made of gold, pearls and diamonds.

Horrible creatures are hidden to defend these riches: the Muscas Maceddas, sheep's head, a single eye in the center of the forehead, sharp teeth, short wings and a poisonous stinger. The Muskas are inside a crate, mixed with others containing the treasure.

The Janas accompany their work with a melodious song. The melody spreading in the air and in the dark and silent nights, comforts the lonely travelers.

The village of Isilis On the foothills of a high plateau overlooking the Sarcidano valley, right in the middle of a landscape of deep valleys and hills, we find the village of Isilis. The name "Isilis" would derive from "Ilienses" a word designating an ancient population which, according to the Greek author Pausanias (about 110-180 AD) would have settled in Sardinia after the fall of Troy. There, in the surroundings, man has lived since Neolithic times, as evidenced by the existence of a large number of "Domus de Janas", as well as the presence of the magnificent nuraghe of "Is Paras", at the gates of the village. by Nurallao.

When night falls, in the light of an opaline moon, a sweet melody rises. The ether is filled with a sweet fragrance. With a light rustle, the silver olive trees make their foliage dance. Leaning against the entrance of a domus, black and deep mouth, will a light touch the rock and caress my shoulder? Mysterious and enchanting Sardinia.