TITLE: Capra Mask
TYPE: hood mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
DESCRIPTION: Bătrânul (Old Man) Mask
CEREMONY: Capra (Goat Dance)
MAIN MATERIAL: wool
OTHER MATERIALS: dyed cotton cloth; goat leather and hair; cotton batting; dyed cotton tassels; stitching; plastic buttons
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.