The Masked Fool

Written by Ian Bracegirdle

Continued from page 1

To be honest I loverepparttar fool, because I feel I am one, at times. The fool embodiesrepparttar 116079 contradictions ofrepparttar 116080 world. He accepts our human frailties and simultaneously challenges them. For those of you who knowrepparttar 116081 symbols onrepparttar 116082 tarot cards considerrepparttar 116083 fool, for those of you who do not make some time to find out.

Some Examples of Fools in Masquerade Italy In Masksrepparttar 116084 Art of expression Cesare Poppi describesrepparttar 116085 Carnival at Moena inrepparttar 116086 Italian Dolomites. Two Arlechign, a local version of Harlequin, leadrepparttar 116087 masked group. They are dressed in chequered costumes, with a tall pointed cap below which is a loose veil giving them a featureless appearance. They carry horse whips. Around themrepparttar 116088 crowd of cheering young boys follows their moves. Suddenlyrepparttar 116089 dash intorepparttar 116090 youths slashing fiercely withrepparttar 116091 horse whips, striking vicious blows torepparttar 116092 confused youngsters. Panic ensues. A pleasing village scene has suddenly been turned upon its head.

China In China, or your local China Town, whenrepparttar 116093 New Year is celebratedrepparttar 116094 Lion Dance is performed. This often acrobatic masked dance is performed by, usually two dancers accompanied by two Happy Face dancers wearing their papier mache masks complete with large grins painted on them. Asrepparttar 116095 dance progresses throughrepparttar 116096 streetsrepparttar 116097 dragon collects lettuces and money to help bring luck in torepparttar 116098 New Year. Aroundrepparttar 116099 dragonrepparttar 116100 two fools pesterrepparttar 116101 crowd for money and simultaneously keeprepparttar 116102 crowd, especiallyrepparttar 116103 children, at a safe distance.

Pacific West Coast


During Kwakwaka'wakw Potlatch ceremonies inrepparttar 116104 West Coast Areas of Canada another fool prowled around. He is Noohlmahl. A filthy creature with a long nose from which snot streams he is up for a laugh but shouldrepparttar 116105 watchers mention his state, especially his nose, a violent reaction can be expected.

Iriquois False Face Society

The Iriquois False Face Society also have a fool mask to supportrepparttar 116106 processes of healing that they undertake. These corn husk mask are relatively simple and disposable. As with other traditionsrepparttar 116107 fool plays his amusing and organising role.

Playfulness has a major place in many masquerades.

In our lives we all playrepparttar 116108 fool, despiserepparttar 116109 fool in others and loverepparttar 116110 fool who entertains. Sadlyrepparttar 116111 fool who entertains can also be torn apart by internal mental divisions.

The masked fool isrepparttar 116112 one who maintains order and atrepparttar 116113 same time questions it and sometimes on a whim destroys it. Traditionallyrepparttar 116114 fool treads a fine line betweenrepparttar 116115 known andrepparttar 116116 unknown,repparttar 116117 acceptable andrepparttar 116118 unacceptable. Even withoutrepparttar 116119 mask I am sure you recogniserepparttar 116120 fool in your life.

The fool is a universal being. Today (15/12/04) I lost my fool, she was our cat. If you wish to know she died of old age. She hadrepparttar 116121 soft luxury of a purring fur to stroke and in a moment she transformed into a fanged biter. She hadrepparttar 116122 gourmet taste of a French chef yet licked her own arse. She refused to go outside whenrepparttar 116123 wind blew, because it was cold, yet sat happily onrepparttar 116124 wet grass when it was raining and blowing a gale. Tango,repparttar 116125 cat, was my fool, just as I was hers when playing hide and seek. I loved her affection and was saddened by her rejection ofrepparttar 116126 food I gave her. All in all Tango, our family cat, was all contradiction and beautifully herself. She is a very missed little being.


Cecil Sharp collected folk sings inrepparttar 116127 British Isles. Amongst folk enthusiasts he is something of a hero as he preserved may folk songs and traditions. He was instumental in helping preserverepparttar 116128 hundreds of different Morris dances. Yet as withrepparttar 116129 song lyrics he collected they were purged for naughty bits. Anything that went against his strict Victorian morality was censored. The whole of British folk tradition was made "nice".

Inspired by Masksrepparttar 116130 Art of Expression ed. John Mack ISBN 0-7141-2530-X and other sources that I have read and internalised long ago.

Ian Bracegirdle 2004 You may use this article freely on condition that you include this copyright line and URL and that people who subsequently use this article followrepparttar 116131 same conditions. Thank you for accepting these conditions.

Teacher, Course Leader, Mask enthusiast and collector

Central American Masks

Written by Ian Bracegirdle

Continued from page 1

The next response totally threw me.

He said "Senor you can have this mask for 25!"

Now this was really rare. He was droppingrepparttar price and I was not even bargaining. Something

was definitely wrong.

"No I don't want a mask." was my reply.

His response was, "Senor, you can have this mask for 20."

Now I really was flabbergasted. "No thank you I don't want a mask.

On this process went until we reached 10 Quetzales. At that point I decided that 3.00 in UK

pounds it meant no-thing.

I still haverepparttar 116078 mask and still tell this story,repparttar 116079 difference is now I understand what was

going on. Would you like to know? The reason for my bargain was that it wasrepparttar 116080 last sale of

the day. Inrepparttar 116081 process of sellingrepparttar 116082 most important sales arerepparttar 116083 first ofrepparttar 116084 day because it

gives you luck forrepparttar 116085 day. An earlier start means a more profitable day. Thenrepparttar 116086 next

important sale isrepparttar 116087 last one ofrepparttar 116088 day as this givesrepparttar 116089 seller luck forrepparttar 116090 next time he

comes to market. When you consider that these people live fromrepparttar 116091 proceeds of their labours

andrepparttar 116092 sales of their labours it is easy to understand.

All my masks have stories around them. Where I got them, why, what they were used for, what I

like about them etc. As I have

used many of my masks with children having stories helps to bring them alive. Funnily enough I

often find that my two crude horned mask from Guatemala fetchrepparttar 116093 most interest. Young children

enjoy their direct message. The only other mask that receives as much attention or respect

(particularly from teenage boys) isrepparttar 116094 Marka mask I have which only looks down. It is worn by

the man who carries outrepparttar 116095 circumcision of young initiates. It fair brings a tear to their


There are so many types of mask that it seems almost impossible to list each type. Many mask

are danced to day so new mask are always being produced. As with other areas masks are made

specially forrepparttar 116096 tourist. The mask maker in Chichecastenango is worth a visit if you are in


In Guatemala it is possible to discover conquistador masks that mockrepparttar 116097 invaders. They are

often associated with Pedro

Alvarado who with his soldiers conquered Guatemala. Also seen are devil like mask which have

snake symbols associated with healing in most cultures. The deer dance, a reflection of a

Spanish tradition, has masked dancers performing in long faced deer mask.

As in Mexico many ofrepparttar 116098 festivals mirrorrepparttar 116099 European church with local additions. Forrepparttar 116100

collector in both these areas it is possible still to buy good danced masks from source. This

is difficult to do with out local help. It is also possible to buy new masks formrepparttar 116101 carvers

which arerepparttar 116102 ones to be danced. Authenticity in these cases comes formrepparttar 116103 carver. Even

tourist masks can have a high standard of craftsmanship.

In Mexicorepparttar 116104 range of carnival and festival masks is vast. Some ofrepparttar 116105 production is personal,

the dancer creates his own

mask. Some ofrepparttar 116106 festivities include:-

The Dance of Moors and Christians

The Twelve Peers of France

Carnival before Lent

Animal dances in particularrepparttar 116107 Tigre dance which is a representation ofrepparttar 116108 jaguar

The Festival ofrepparttar 116109 Crazies ( la fiesta de los locos )

La danza de los vaqueros

Dances for patron saints e.g.. San Isidro Labrador

The Day ofrepparttar 116110 Dead

And more.

To add to this wide range each area has its own interpretation ofrepparttar 116111 costume, dance and mask.

Forrepparttar 116112 collector this widensrepparttar 116113 range considerably.

If you are interested in this particular area may I recommendrepparttar 116114 following books

Mask arts of Mexico by Ruth Lechuga and Chloe Sayer Thames and Hudson ISBN 0 500 27797 4

Masksrepparttar 116115 Art of Expression Ed John Mack British Museum ISBN 0 7141 2530 x

Ian Bracegirdle 2004 1 Elderberry Close East Morton BD20 5WA UK 01535 692207 You may use this article freely on condition that you include this copyright line and URL and that people who subsequently use this article followrepparttar 116116 same conditions. Thank you for accepting these conditions.

Teacher. Course Leader, Mask enthusiast and collector.

    <Back to Page 1 © 2005
Terms of Use