During the Spanish domination period, in the Kingdom of Sardinia were some cities, known as Città Regie, including Oristano, which enjoyed special privileges. Among these was the possibility of establishing corporations of the arts and trades (guilds).
Corporations of the arts and trades served the function of grouping workers who practiced the same profession, such as farmers, woodworkers, blacksmiths, tailors, shoemakers, weavers, and cart drivers. These guilds regulated the entry of new members, the apprenticeship of novices, and the examination for becoming masters of the art. They also made rules regulating the quality standards of the products and the prices of manufactured goods.
Various practices and traditions were strictly regulated by the guilds, and the members abode by those rules in order to maintain their privileges. Among the practices regulated by the guild: mutual aid among members, assistance to ill and sick members, and funeral services for deceased members; participation in holidays and rites of the religious calendar and of the corporation itself was very important as well.
The lack of documents prevents us from knowing the exact time when guilds took on the role of organizing sa Sartiglia.
However, documents attest that a canon of the Cathedral of Arborea who lived in the sixteenth century made the pledge to donate to the guild of Farmers of Saint John the Baptist a fund whose proceeds would pay for organizing the event.
Other documents attest that the Woodworkers guild of Saint Joseph had different means of getting financial support. In fact, the expenses for organizing the race were paid with the money from the offerings of members of the guild itself and of noble wealthy families of the city.
Today, the Farmers guild takes care of all the rituals of sa Sartiglia taking place on the Sunday, while the guild of Woodworkers is responsible for overseeing the one on the Tuesday.
Both guilds are custodians of tradition and have the task of ensuring that sa Sartiglia is celebrated under any condition or circumstance.
Their activity takes place throughout the year and is closely related to the event.