TITLE: Careto
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Portugal
SUBREGION: Podence
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Careto
MAKER: Luís Filipe Costa (Podence, 1985- )
CEREMONY: Entrudo (Carnival)
AGE: 2017
MAIN MATERIAL: steel sheet
OTHER MATERIALS: paint; 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 steel or 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.

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TITLE: Pantalla
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Spain
SUBREGION: Galicia
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Pantalla (Screen) Mask
MAKER: Celso Lorenzo Otero (Xinzo de Limia, 1956- )
CEREMONY: Entroido (Carnival)
AGE: 2014
MAIN MATERIAL: paper maché
OTHER MATERIALS: cardboard; felt; foam rubber; acrylic paint; polyester cloth; synthetic fringe; stitching

The Entroido (Carnival) of Spain’s Galicia province has a tremendous diversity of celebration styles that vary from town to town. In Xinzo de Limia, the main Carnival character is the Pantalla (Screen), which refers to the painted screens atop the helmet masks they wear. These screens are decorated with astral motifs or totemic animals. The Pantalla wears a costume consisting of a white shirt, black pants, a red or black cape, a red scarf, and black shoes, with a red belt holding cowbells. The Pantalla also carries two or more inflated, dried cattle bladders attached to strings, which the Pantalla uses to bang together while jumping and grunting to scare strangers and women.

The Pantalla‘s role is to ensure that nobody walks into the town square or surrounding streets without a disguise. Anyone without a disguise is forced to buy the Pantallas a round of wine, if necessary by abduction to the nearest bar.

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TITLE: Careto
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Portugal
SUBREGION: Podence
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Careto
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.

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TITLE: Cigarrón
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Spain
SUBREGION: Galicia
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Cigarrón (Cigarette) Mask
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: Careto
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.

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TITLE: Careto
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Portugal
SUBREGION: Bragança
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Careto
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
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: mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Portugal
SUBREGION: Bragança
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Careto
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: mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Portugal
SUBREGION: Bragança
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Careto
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: Careto
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Portugal
SUBREGION: Podence
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Careto
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Entrudo (Carnival)
AGE: ca. 2000s
MAIN MATERIAL: leather
OTHER MATERIALS: paint; stitching

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.

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