TITLE: Capra Mask
TYPE: hood mask
COUNTRY: Romania
ETHNICITY: Romanian-Moldovan
DESCRIPTION: Bătrânul (Old Man) Mask
MAKER: Iulian Mihalachi (Bălţăteşti-Neamţ, 1968- )
CEREMONY: Capra (Goat Dance)
AGE: 2012
MAIN MATERIAL: dyed woolen cloth
OTHER MATERIALS: sheep’s wool; wooden beads

The capra, or goat dance, is performed in parts of rural Romania on New Year’s Eve as part of a caroling tradition. In pre-Christian times, the ritual was probably intended to drive away winter spirits and purify the village. In the dance, masqueraders in bătrânul (old man) masks and costumes and large bells dance to the music of traditional pipes with either a living goat or a masquerader dressed as one.