The carnival of Mamoiada is one of the most ancient celebrations on the island. A ritual transforms local men into Mamuthones. Heavy sheepskins, a black mask and thirty kilogrammes of tightly strapped bells lead to transformation and transcendence. Each step of the procession is marked by a mass of heavily beaten bells. The rhythm of the ancestral dance is led by the figure of Issohadores, in a red bodice and white mask. Their name derives from the soha, a rope used to lasso onlookers. The first appearance each year is on 16th January, for the bonfires of Sant’Antonio Abate, where the Mamuthones herald the beginning of Carnival.