TITLE: Capra Mask
TYPE: hood mask
COUNTRY: Romania
ETHNICITY: Romanian-Moldovan
DESCRIPTION: Bătrânul (Old Man) Mask
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Capra (Goat Dance)
AGE: 1980s
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.