TITLE: Fasnet Old Man Mask
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
ETHNICITY: Swabian (German)
DESCRIPTION: Alter Mann (Old Man) Mask
CEREMONY: Fasnet (Carnival)
MAIN MATERIAL: wood
OTHER MATERIALS: paint; leather straps; hardware
In many parts of Swabia and Bavaria, Carnival (usually called Fasnet or Fastnet in this region of Germany) is celebrated with parades of masked clowns (Narren) and characters lampooning local villager types. The beer-swiller, the gossip, and benign old man and woman, and the fool are all typically represented. This mask represents an alter Mann (old man).
Regrettably, the best texts on Carnival in Bavaria and Swabia are still available in German only: Heinz Wintermantel’s Hoorig, hoorig isch die Katz (Würzburg: Konrad Theiss, 1978) and Dick Eckert’s Die Werdenfelser Fasnacht und ihre Larven (Volk Verlag München, 2015).