TITLE: Canary Party Mask
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: North America
COUNTRY: United States of America
ETHNICITY: Mixed
DESCRIPTION: Buckram Canary Mask
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Mardi Gras; Halloween
AGE: ca. 1930s
MAIN MATERIAL: buckram
OTHER MATERIALS: paint

Buckram masks such as this one were mass-produced masks and popular among the middle class in the 1920s to the 1950s, when they were replaced by vacuformed plastic. This specific mask, representing a canary bird, was made from buckram, moistened and dried over a form, then hand painted with details. Many such masks were made by the American Mask Company in Woodhaven, New York.

For more on 20th century American Halloween costumes, see Phyllis Galembo, Dressed for Thrills: 100 Years of Halloween Costumes and Masquerade (New York: Harry N. Abrams Inc., 2002).

Click above to watch documentaries about Halloween and Mardi Gras in the United States.