TITLE: Fasnet Witch
TYPE: mask
COUNTRY: Austria
DESCRIPTION: Hexe (Witch) Mask
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Fasnet (Carnival)
AGE: 2013
MAIN MATERIAL: Swiss stone pine wood
OTHER MATERIALS: oil-based paint

Carnival (Fasnet) is celebrated throughout the Tyrol (southern Germany, western Austria, Switzerland and northern Italy) with masked parades and merry making. Among the popular characters are animals, clowns, drunkards, and witches.  Witch masks could also be used during Krampuslauf or Perchtenlauf, the traditional mid-winter parade of demons accompanying Saint Nicholaus.  This mask was made by a master carver with a traditional Tyrolean conception of a witch.

Regrettably, the best text on Tyrolean Carnival is still available in German only: Heinz Wintermantel’s Hoorig, hoorig isch die Katz (Würzburg: Konrad Theiss, 1978).