TITLE: Fasnet Teufel Mask
TYPE: mask
COUNTRY: Germany
SUBREGION: Baden-Württemberg
ETHNICITY: Swabian (German)
DESCRIPTION: Teufel (Devil) Mask
MAKER: Uwe Thaler, Altensteig
CEREMONY: Fasnet (Carnival)
AGE: 2006
MAIN MATERIAL: cedar wood
OTHER MATERIALS: paint; lacquer; goat leather and fur; fox tail; LED lights and hardware

In many parts of Swabia and Bavaria, Carnival (usually called Fasnet or Fastnet in this region of Germany) is celebrated with parades of witches, devils, and clowns.  The devil parades are organized by guilds, all members of which wear similar costumes and masks.  Each town has its own guilds. Their purpose is to usher in the spring with joy and laughter and frighten away the winter.

This specific mask was used in Ehningen by the Würmdal-Deifels Guild from 2006 until 2012.

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