TITLE: Flums Carnival Mask
TYPE: mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Switzerland
SUBREGION: Flums
ETHNICITY: Swiss
DESCRIPTION: Alte Frau (Old Woman) Mask
MAKER: Marcus DeFlorin, Flums (1959- )
CEREMONY: Fasnacht (carnival)
AGE: 2011
MAIN MATERIAL: wood
OTHER MATERIALS: paint; wool hair; cloth

Fasnacht is what the Tyrolean Swiss call Carnival.  In many towns in Austria, southern Germany, Switzerland, and northern Italy, local folk don elaborate masks and costumes to parade through the town.  Different towns have variations on the parade, such as the Schemenlaufen of Imst, the Schellerlaufen of Nassereith, and the Muller and Matschgerer of Innsbruck, Austria.

In Flums, carnival masks have a distinctive pear shape and tend to have a satirical purpose. The Flums style has been highly influential in neighboring villages.

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).