Located on the southernmost edge of the Sassari province at an elevation of 700 meters, with two creeks (Rio Mannu and Rio Altana) flowing through it, Buddusò is a small town (population: 4000) lying on an ample green plateau surrounded by dramatic peaks such as 1003-meter tall Punta Sa Jone.
The village jealously guards the artifacts of its ancient history dating back to the prehistoric age, and is rich in historic and archaeologic evidence.
A famous local legend tells of “a woman from Dure, an ancient village in the vicinity of Bitti, who was so honest that God himself urged her to run from her village, then facing impending destruction, and to stop and settle only when she would hear her rooster crow. Having left Bitti behind, she headed north until she heard her rooster crow prodigiously: “Puddu so”. So that’s where the new village would come to be.
The village center is of medieval origin, and its urban landscape can be dated back to the Tenth Century.
Its territory borders with those of Alà dei Sardi, Bitti, Osidda, Pattada, Oschiri e Berchidda. The landscape features wonderful woods, surrounded by massive granitic ridges. Typical of these rock formations are the “tafoni”, or “concheddas” in local dialect, caves that formed due to erosion following the volcanic eruptions.
The size of some of these cavities between the granite blocks is such, that the nuragic people were sometimes able to use them as burial sites.
Some of these hypogeum complexes, burial sites dating back to the Neolithic Period, are still visible to this day.
There are 64 known Domus de Janas sites accessible today, the most important being the Ludurru Necropolis, located just 200 meters from the village, and the Borucca Janas.
Jutting from the ground surrounding Buddusò, some of the oldest buildings of Sardinian heritage can be found. No less than 32 nuraghe are registered in the Buddusò area, the most notable being the fiery Nuraghe Loelle, located 7km from the village, from the top of which the Alà dei Sardi mountain range is visible.
The village’s economy flourished over the centuries thanks to the land’s abundant resources, such as the cork oak and the holm oak, and the granitic subsoil.
Granite quarrying has been a driver of the Buddusò economy in the second half of the 20th century following the growth of European demand.
Alas, until the end of the 19th century shepherding had been the staple of the local economy, witnessing an evolutionary trend from pasture and transhumant rearing to more modern settled rearing practices, spurred by the increase in pasture productivity.
To this day farming represents the mainstay of the local economy, with sheep and cattle having the lion’s share, mostly for meat production.
Dairy farming has triggered the growth of the dairy sector, now highly developed and competitive, having completed the transition from cottage-sized operations, still practiced in some areas of the interior, to industrial dairy factories.
Also important are horse breeding and pork farming, the latter especially relevant around Buddusò for pork suckling, a typical local dish.
Goat rearing is also concentrated around Buddusò.
The recent improvement in farming infrastructures, coupled with the ongoing genetic optimization of sheep and cattle breeds sustain professional and public interest in the Berchidda sheep breeding spring jamboree.
The vast green pastures are the ideal breeding grounds for flocks and herds that for centuries have formed the core of a deeply rooted agropastoral tradition that is still strong to this day and that has fueled an intimate bond between Man and Nature, a hallowed respect for the rich countryside and fostered solidarity among its inhabitants.
This cooperation aims at developing the local economy by preserving traditions and values.
In the end, shepherding is not just a major economic industry: its output still represents the core of Sardinian gross domestic product, but – in the words of historian Francesco Casula – “shepherding in Sardinia has produced much more than milk, cheese, meat and wool alone: it also has generated rules and values that are the deep core of the Sardinian civilization and culture”.