TITLE: Cigarrón Mask
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Spain
SUBREGION: Galicia
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Cigarrón (Cigarette) Mask with Falcon Pantalla
CATALOG ID: EUES016
MAKER: Álvaro Ferreira Diéguez (Verín, 1966- )
CEREMONY: Entroido (Carnival)
AGE: 1993
MAIN MATERIAL: wood; brass sheet
OTHER MATERIALS: leather; oil-based paint; dyed cotton yarn; waxed thread; foam rubber; rabbit pelt; animal pelt; hardware; horsehair

The Entroido (Carnival) of Spain’s Galicia province has a tremendous diversity of celebration styles that vary from town to town. In the region of Verín, the celebration begins with a “baptism” of characters known as Cigarrones (literally, cigarettes). Cigarrones wear fancy and intricate costumes of velvet jackets, tasseled short pants, laced hose, an embroidered scarf (pañoleta), and a belt with large brass or copper cowbells (chocallos). The mask is made of wood, padded with leather and lined with rabbit fur. Attached to the top is a metal screen in the shape of a bishop’s miter (mitra), painted with a totemic animal or scene, decorated with tassels (pondones) and lined in the back with leather, animal fur, and hair from a horse’s tail. The Cigarrón carries a leather whip (zamarra) with a long, carved wood handle to lash any member of the crowd who fails to move out of the way of the parade. Although Entroido in Verín includes crowds of celebrants throwing flour or talc at each other (a symbolic fertility rite), the Cigarrón is considered untouchable and must be avoided and treated with respect throughout the Entroido.

This mask was used by the maker, Álvaro Diéguez, for twenty-four years in the Carnival of Verín. The falcon on the mitra is a symbol of ferocity and agility.

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TITLE: Careto
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Portugal
SUBREGION: Podence
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Red and Black Leather Careto
CATALOG ID: EUPT008
MAKER: Luís Filipe Costa (Podence, 1985- )
CEREMONY: Entrudo (Carnival)
AGE: 2017
MAIN MATERIAL: leather
OTHER MATERIALS: paint; stitching; elastic straps

In Podence, Portugal, Carnival (frequently called Entrudo there) is celebrated in a unique way. Masqueraders put on crude, pointy-nosed masks made of leather, wood, or folded and welded tin sheet, usually painted red, black, or both. Their costumes are a hooded suit of furry cotton yarn and always consisting of red, yellow, and green colored stripes. They also wear leather belts and bandoliers with bells attached, and they wield a stick or club. The caretos appear in groups, running chaotically through the village to harass the young women. The careto during this time is effectively granted immunity from the rules of decorum.  He can violate social norms with impunity, as he is considered the manifestation of a supernatural spirit. Such beliefs strongly imply a lingering pre-Christian origin for the ceremony in this region.

Click above to see footage of the caretos of Podence, Portugal.

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TITLE: Careto
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Portugal
SUBREGION: Bragança
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Careto of a smiling demon in two-toned wood
CATALOG ID: EUPT007
MAKER: Romeu Jorge Fernandes (Ousilhão, Vinhais, 1988- )
CEREMONY: Festa de Santo Estevão
PURPOSE: Adult Initiation; Celebration
AGE: 2016
MAIN MATERIAL: mulberry wood
OTHER MATERIALS: N/A

The caretos of the tiny village of Ousilhão, in the Vinhais township of Bragança, wear their masks not at Carnival, but during a winter festival in honor of the patron saint of the village, St. Steven (Santo Estevão). This festival is also known as the Festa dos Rapazes (Festival of the Boys), because it serves as an adult initiation ceremony for pubescent boys. The celebration is held on December 25-26 each year, and begins when the village priest symbolically crowns three men in the village square as a king and two vassals. These individuals are responsible for supplying the food and drink in the festivities to follow.

The ceremony that follows involves four masqueraders (historically men, but now women participate as well) bringing boys to the feast wearing demonic masks (caretos) and colorful, cloth costumes. Before and during the feasting and drinking, the masqueraders will sing and dance to the music of bagpipes (gaita de foles), castanets, and drums. Their goal is to make the initiates thoroughly drunk.

Afterward, unmasked villagers carry the image of St. Steven to the village church. The masked characters, being both demonic and drunk, are not allowed to enter the church.

This mask was carved by Romeu Jorge, a military policeman who has been carving the masks since the age of 12.

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TITLE: Careto
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Portugal
SUBREGION: Lamego
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Careto of Jesus of Nazareth
CATALOG ID: EUPT006
MAKER: Albino Neves (Lazarím)
CEREMONY: Entrudo (Carnival)
AGE: 2015
MAIN MATERIAL: alder wood
OTHER MATERIALS: elastic straps

The residents of the small town of Lazarím, Portugal, claim that their Carnival is the most authentic in Portugal and dates back to the Celtic invasions from central Europe in the first millennium BCE. The participants begin with a walk from Lamego to Lazarím or a town parade, dressed in costumes and masks made of natural materials such as burlap, wicker, pine boughs, or dried grass. The masks are usually hand-carved of wood and uncolored. They most commonly represent devils, but they may also represent animals, kings, or (in this case) Jesus of Nazareth himself. The parade is accompanied by a band of drums and percussion instruments.

After the parade, a young man and woman designated to carry paper maché effigies of a compadre and comadre assemble the village in the square and read out a list of the embarrassing acts of the villagers during the preceding year, to the amusement of all. The shamed individuals are then redeemed by the symbolic burning of the effigies. The villagers then share a feast of bean and meat stew cooking in a large cauldron in the square.  Masqueraders frequently play pranks throughout Fat Sunday and Fat Tuesday.

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TITLE: Careto
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Portugal
SUBREGION: Bragança
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Black careto with horns
CATALOG ID: EUPT004
MAKER: António Alves (Varges, Bragança, 1949- )
CEREMONY: Entrudo (Carnival)
AGE: 2016
MAIN MATERIAL: aluminum sheet
OTHER MATERIALS: goat horns; enamel paint

In Bragança, Portugal, Carnival (frequently called Entrudo) masks may be composed of a wide variety of materials, most commonly metal, leather, wood, cork, or escrinho (woven straw). Such masks typically have devilish features, representing the freedom enjoyed by the celebrant that would be considered sinful, or at least socially unacceptable, at other times of the year. Carnival is the Shrovetide season of maximal social freedom prior to the Catholic fasting season of Lent. In Catholic countries such as Portugal, parties, parades, feasting, and cultural events are commonly organized during the Carnival season, primarily on “Fat Sunday” and “Fat Tuesday.”

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TITLE: Careto
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Portugal
SUBREGION: Bragança
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Careto in four colors
CATALOG ID: EUPT001
MAKER: Oscar Barros (Bragança)
CEREMONY: Entrudo (Carnival)
AGE: 2015
MAIN MATERIAL: steel sheet
OTHER MATERIALS: enamel paint

In Bragança, Portugal, Carnival (frequently called Entrudo) masks may be composed of a wide variety of materials, most commonly metal, leather, wood, cork, or escrinho (woven straw). Such masks typically have devilish features, representing the freedom enjoyed by the celebrant that would be considered sinful, or at least socially unacceptable, at other times of the year. Carnival is the Shrovetide season of maximal social freedom prior to the Catholic fasting season of Lent. In Catholic countries such as Portugal, parties, parades, feasting, and cultural events are commonly organized during the Carnival season, primarily on “Fat Sunday” and “Fat Tuesday.”

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TITLE: Carnival Wöschwyb
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Switzerland
SUBREGION: Lucerne
ETHNICITY: Swiss
DESCRIPTION: Wöschwyb (Washwoman) Mask
CATALOG ID: EUCH010
MAKER: Toni Meier, Kriens (1941- )
CEREMONY: Fasnacht (Carnival)
AGE: 2017
MAIN MATERIAL: linden wood
OTHER MATERIALS: paint; lacquer; dyed cloth

Fasnacht is what the Swiss call Carnival.  In many towns in Switzerland, Austria, southern Germany, and northern Italy, local folk don elaborate masks and costumes to parade through the town.  Different Swiss towns have variations on the parade, such as Fasnacht of Basel, the Tschäggättä of Lötschental, or the Rabadan of Bellinzona.

Although traditional masked Carnival is no longer celebrated in most of Lucerne, in the town of Kriens, masquerade using masks called Muur or Hübeli still plays a role. Two types of masked are typically used in this region, satirical character masks such as this one, which can represent either sex. Character masks come in many different types, such as the Wöschwyb (washerwoman) and Alter (old man). The other type are Schreckmasken (fright masks) representing scary men, known as the Krienser Deckel (Kriens head) and Buuremaa (farmer).

Unfortunately, the best book on Swiss masking traditions is available in German only: Albert Bärtsch, Holzmasken: Fasnachts- und Maskenbrauchtum in der Schweiz, in Süddeutschland und Österreich (AT Verlag 1993).

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TITLE: Bull Mask
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Spain
SUBREGION: Barcelona, Catalonia
ETHNICITY: Catalan
DESCRIPTION: Toro (Bull) Mask
CATALOG ID: EUES006
MAKER: Augusto Duch (Barcelona)
CEREMONY: Carnival
AGE: 2012
MAIN MATERIAL: paper maché
OTHER MATERIALS: paint; ribbons; wire mesh

Carnival is celebrated throughout Catholic Europe with parades and other festivities, often including masqueraders. For centuries, Spaniards venerated the ritual of bullfighting, inherited from Roman gladiator contests, and it is still practiced in parts of Spain. Although several regions, including Catalonia since 2012, has banned it as unnecessary cruelty to animals. Nonetheless, the symbol of the bull survives as part of Spanish culture and tradition. The bull is consequently a popular character in Spanish Carnival due to its association with virility and strength.

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TITLE: Carnival Fright Mask
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Switzerland
SUBREGION: Lucerne
ETHNICITY: Swiss
DESCRIPTION: Schreckmaske (Fright Mask)
CATALOG ID: EUCH015
MAKER: Toni Meier, Kriens (1941- )
CEREMONY: Fasnacht (Carnival)
AGE: 2017
MAIN MATERIAL: linden wood
OTHER MATERIALS: paint; lacquer

Fasnacht is what the Swiss call Carnival.  In many towns in Switzerland, Austria, southern Germany, and northern Italy, local folk don elaborate masks and costumes to parade through the town.  Different Swiss towns have variations on the parade, such as Fasnacht of Basel, the Tschäggättä of Lötschental, or the Rabadan of Bellinzona.

Although traditional masked Carnival is no longer celebrated in most of Lucerne, in the town of Kriens, masquerade using masks called Muur or Hübeli still plays a role. Two types of masked are typically used in this region, satirical character masks which can represent either sex. Character masks come in many different types, such as the Wöschwyb (washerwoman) and Alter (old man). The other type are Schreckmasken (fright masks) representing scary men, known as the Krienser Deckel (Kriens head) and Buuremaa (farmer). This mask is a typical Kriens fright mask.

Unfortunately, the best book on Swiss masking traditions is available in German only: Albert Bärtsch, Holzmasken: Fasnachts- und Maskenbrauchtum in der Schweiz, in Süddeutschland und Österreich (AT Verlag 1993).

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TITLE: Carnival Fantasy Mask
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Italy
SUBREGION: Venice
ETHNICITY: Italian
DESCRIPTION: Moon Carnival macramé mask
CATALOG ID: EUIT014
MAKER: Carta Alta, Venice
CEREMONY: Carnival
AGE: early 2000s
MAIN MATERIAL: paper maché
OTHER MATERIALS: macramé; paint; rhinestones; ribbon

During Carnival in Venice, masqueraders wear a variety of both classical and novelty masks. This mask falls in the latter category. It is made to resemble the moon and can be worn by masqueraders of either sex. By not covering the whole face, masks such as this one allow the wearer unimpeded speech and the option of eating and drinking without unmasking.

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