The Barefoot Run (Corsa degli Scalzi)
Running barefoot on dusty and stony paths, carrying with others the statue of a saint.
This too can happen in the life of a man, although it may seem a perplexing and strenuous task. At Cabras (Province of Oristano, central-western Sardinia), the barefoot run with the statue of San Salvatore is repeated each year on the first weekend in September (this year, Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September): it’s the Procession of San Salvatore di Sinis, better known as the “Barefoot Run”.
The participants, known as Is Curridoris, at dawn on Saturday collect the wooden statue of San Salvatore from its usual abode in the Church of Santa Maria di Cabras and, running barefoot for about 7 km, carry it to the church of San Salvatore, in the nearby village of San Salvatore di Sinis. Then on
The fact that this is a running procession in itself suggests that Is Curridoris are running away from some threat. And indeed, in 1619 that is exactly what happened. For some time the Moorish pirates had been raiding the coasts of Sardinia, bringing death,
Thus, a group of inhabitants took the statue of the Saint and carried it running to San Salvatore in Sinis, where it would be kept
And just what does the Run of the Barefoot teach us? (try to see it if you can – for its unique popular piety and wide range of side events). It teaches us that symbols count, that to save ourselves from disarray and oblivion we must carry with us what best represents our identity, and begin to run: run fast to the next village.