Come and see! Puppetry in pictures. > Mask

Poster. Design: Bruno Truyts, 1983A covering for the face worn to make oneself unrecognizable and to assume a different identity temporarily. Some masks cover only part of the face, e.g. the upper part. These are so called half masks. The mouth is left uncovered so the wearer is not hampered by the mask when speaking. In the Commedia dell’arte, half masks are worn by the leading performers. Other masks cover the whole face. In that case, it is hard to understand what is said, unless special measures are taken. In classical antiquity, the wide open mouths of theatre masks had the form of a funnel, so the voices could carry far. Masks can have human or animal features or be purely a figment of their maker’s imagination. They can represent supernatural creatures or ancestors. On the other hand, they can epitomize a single human weakness, such as boastfulness or foolishness. Masks are worn on various occasions, for instance during carnival, in the theatre and at a fancy dress ball.

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