TITLE: Fasnet Langnase Mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
ETHNICITY: Swabian (German)
DESCRIPTION: Langnase Narro
MAKER: Andreas Lang, Elzach (1965- )
CEREMONY: Fasnet (Carnival)
MAIN MATERIAL: wood
OTHER MATERIALS: dyed felt cloth; oil-based paint
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). The clown parade (Narrenlaufen, Narrensprung or Narrenzunft) is organized by guilds, all members of which wear similar kinds of costumes and masks. Each town has its own guilds, with some overlap in styles of Narro. Their purpose is to usher in the spring with joy and laughter.
Carnival in Elzach extends back at least to 1530 century, and uses a variety of traditional masks, or larve, such as the rascal (Fratz), fox (Grfrisse), and devil (Teufel). This specific mask, representing the “Long Nose” clown, was made by the master carver, Andreas Lang.
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).