TITLE: Old Man Mask
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Moldova
ETHNICITY: Romanian-Moldovan
DESCRIPTION: Bătrânească (Old Man) Mask
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Mastile; Carnival
FUNCTION: Agriculture; Celebration; Hunting; Protection/Purification
AGE: 1980s
MAIN MATERIAL: wood
OTHER MATERIALS: sheep’s wool; cow horns; paint; hardware

In Romanian and Moldovan folk traditions, many kinds of masks are used at planting time and during the celebrations of Lent prior to Christmas, and during Carnival.  Some are used for caroling, while others originate in pre-Christian rituals of appeasing the gods for a rainy spring, bountiful harvest, or successful hunt.  Only men may wear such masks.  This mask represents an old man (Bătrânească) and is a popular Carnival character.