The word Orgòsolo is a toponomy, that is a place-name of ancient origin.
It goes back to the ancient Greek term οργάσ-οργέ, which means fertile land, wetland.
An hypothesis consolidated by the fact that in the Sardinian language, particularly in its Orgolese variant, the entries òrga and orgòsa indicate a site rich in springs, as is, in effect, the town’s historical centre.
Ancient testimony about man’s presence in the territory of Orgòsolodates back to Neolithic times. Findings from the period 3900/2900 BC., such as a small chlorite plate or various fragments of venerate of the Cycladean type, are indicative of the contacts and population movements, that from the Middle East, starting out from eras contemporary with the birth of the Domus de Janus, of the Tombe ad Esedra and of the protonuraghi, have left profound traces among the peoples of the western Mediterranean basin.
The course of human settlement, largely still to be investigated, that begins in pre-history going through Nuraghic, Phoenician-Punic and Roman times, leaving at Su Halà’vri’he the upside down figurine in a hypogean tomb, at Orùlua bronze boat and at Sirilò fragments of an Attica vase, continued on into the “Judicial” and Medieval epochs.
As far as written sources are concerned the name Orgòsolo appears for the first time in late medieval times: in 1341 we find it listed in the “Rationes decimarum”, of centres that paid tithes to the Roman curia. In 1388 some of their representatives sealed, in Orani, the peace accord between the Giudicato d’Arborea and Giovanni d’Aragona.
From the end of the 1800’s the name of Orgòsolo became spread through Europe on the back of events that were read as being banditismo.
During the 1950’s the anthropological studies of Franco Cagnetta underlined the existence of a community in Europe, in the centre of the Mediterranean, that exhibited archaic comportmental models, in marked contrast to the development of the modern era. This reading of the situation was sustained by the film “Banditi a Orgòsolo” by Vittorio de Seta, a masterpiece of neo-realism, that contributed much to the spreading of the town’s fame.
In the early 1970’s another phenomenon began, this time with a large artistic content, as well as a social and political one. We are talking about the murales that characterise Orgòsolo’s inhabited centre like a unicum inside the category of the paesi dipinti, where murals are ever more considered to be a choice of urban decoration.
The murales of Orgòsolo were and are born and developed in a socio-political environment that sees the active involvement of the inhabitants, firstly among the schoolchildren and then by a form of a collective critical participation of their messages and therein their content.
Orgòsolo’s national and international level of renown permits, along with the spreading of its name, the diffusion of several ethnic and traditional aspects of the culture appertaining to Sardinia’s internal zone, such as the tenore, the typical male chorus of three voices plus a soloist, today safeguarded by UNESCO as a patrimony of humanity because of its ancestral aspects,
Also Orgòsolo’s traditional costumes, especially the woman’s one, have always been famous both for its ethno-artistic characteristics as well as for the originality of its workmanship and its dignity when worn. It is also important not to forget that, for centuries, this clothing is in great part made of material decorated in locally produced silk, from silkworms that, with the passage of time, have become a specific and characteristic variety.
If we add to all these aspects the fact that the territory of Orgòsolo is characterised by an enormous environmental wealth, incomparable unspoilt woodlands, Mediterranean scrubland, diffuse endemic flora and a variegated fauna that extends from mufflon to wild boars and the few still surviving examples of the golden eagle, a wealth that has its summit in the Supramonte and its habitat, one can understand why this territory exercises such a strong attraction in the field of tourism.