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Lo ammetto, non ho mai amato il Carnevale, a parte per le bugie (o chiacchiere, o zeppole...) che prepara mia mamma. Eppure quando qualche settimana ho visto un unico gomitolo di tante sfumature diverse e l'ho comprato d'impulso, guidata da un pensiero nitido: Arlecchino. Forse erano i colori della lana a ricordarmi il costume tipico della maschera, non lo so, ma dal momento in cui ho preso in mano quel gomitolo sapevo cosa sarebbe diventato, e ovviamente quale sarebbe stato il suo nome una volta trasformato. Non sapendomi spiegare questa ispirazione insolita sono andata a leggere qualche notizia su Arlecchino, che conoscevo solo in qualità di maschera della Commedia dell'Arte, e ho trovato alcune informazioni davvero interessanti.
Pare infatti che questa figura abbia origini lontane e risalga ai tempi in cui l'Europa era pagana. In quei secoli lontani si credeva che durante festività come Samhain gli spiriti dei defunti tornassero a camminare sulla Terra e che alcuni di loro si riunissero per la rituale Caccia Selvaggia. Gli aspetti di queste credenze sono molto complessi e andrebbero approfonditi a parte, ma per tornare ad Arlecchino, sembra che etimologicamente il suo nome sia riconducibile alle Hellequins (o Herlequins), donne che cavalcavano durante la Caccia insieme alla dea nordica dell'oltretomba, Hel. Solo successivamente, a contatto con la cultura francese, Hel si trasforma nel re Herla o Herlequin, il re degli elfi. Fu l'avvento del Cristianesimo a dare un'accezione negativa a questa figura, riducendola ad una sorta di demone sciocco da esorcizzare tramite la burla.
Ci sarebbe da aggiungere tanto altro, ma non vi voglio annoiare: in fondo sono giorni di festa. Vi lascio con l'augurio di divertirvi, e magari mentre ridete per qualche scherzo ben riuscito rivolgete un pensiero ad Arlecchino. Provate a dimenticare la grottesca maschera popolare e immaginate invece una giovane che cavalca libera nelle remote foreste del nord, incurante della neve che le sferza il viso, beata del vento che gioca con i suoi capelli; oppure pensate al Signore degli Elfi e alla Signora dell'Oltremondo, che regnano saggiamente sorridendo delle buffe paure degli uomini, che per timore della morte la mettono in ridicolo riducendola ad una mascherata di demoni chiassosi e sciocchi.

I'll admit it, I've never ever loved Carnival, save for my mum's "bugie" (a kind of fried sweet muffin we cook here), but when some weeks ago I saw this many-coloured yarn I immediately bought it, driven by one thought: Harlequin. It may have been the colours that reminded me of the mask's dress, I don't know, but when I took that yarn I knew what it would have become, and of course I knew how I was gonna name it afterward. Since I couldn't explain to myself this unusual inspiration I had, I searched about Harlequin, which I only knew as a character from the Commedia dell'Arte, and I found some really interesting notions.
It seems that this character comes from long long ago, from the times when Europe was pagan. During those times it was a common belief that during special festivities such as Samhain the spirits of the dead came back on Earth, and that some of them gathered for the ritual Wild Hunt. These traditions are complex and deserve a chapter of their own, so back to Harlequin: etymologically, this name comes from "Hellequins" (or "Herlequins"), women who used to ride with Otherworld's Nordic goddess Hela during the Hunt. Afterward, after coming into contact with French culture, Hel became king Herla, or Herlequin, the King of the Elves. It was Christian religion that gave this figure a negative meaning, downsized to a silly demon that could be exorcised through pranks and tricks.
There'd be much more to add, but I don't want to bore you: these should be merry days, after all. I wish you a happy time, and maybe as you laugh after some funny prank think for a moment about Harlequin. Try to forget the grotesque popular mask and imagine a young woman riding free through distant North forests, not giving a thought to the snow whipping her face, content with the wind that plays with her hair; or think about the Lord of the Elves or the Lady of the Otherworld, both wisely ruling their reigns as they smile at the foolish fears of men who, being afraid of death, ridicule her and reduce her to a masquerade of noisy and idiot demons.

Lo scaldacollo che ho realizzato è in vendita. Se siete interessate lo trovate nel mio shop di Artesanum, oppure potete contattarmi via e-mail.

The neckwarmer I've made is for sale. If you're interested you can find it in my Artesanum shop, or you can contact me via e-mail.


  1. Non conoscevo Arlecchino da questo punto di vista, non si finisce mai di scoprire cose nuove. Hai ragione la lana e ' molto bella. Ciao, Anna.

  2. adoro queste spiegazioni che portano alla creazione, o viceversa :) auguri per lo shop!

  3. Ma pensa!! Adoro gli scalda-collo!! ❤ molto bello! Silvia

  4. What a fantastic cowl!! ♥ Pretty color-mix, and it looks so soft and snugly. The name is perfect, and it's wonderful that you found out about the Hellequins' history thereby... seems to be some kind of magic yarn ;-). Thanks for telling us so much about this story, that's great ♥. And it's another example how many things were distorted by Christian religion :-(.


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