Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Visiting ! Carnaval! display in Ocala, FL

Today I convinced my mother in law and my oldest daughter to join me for a visit to ! Carnaval! an exhibit organized by the Museum of International Folk Art and toured by NEH on the Road. This display was being shown at the Webber Center  Gallery in Ocala, Florida from June 17th-August 11th. After it leaves Ocala, FL it will then be displayed in Indianapolis. So to get a chance to see it was a privilege…I feel anyhow.
New Orleans,USA Mardi Gras mask
A mask from Mexico
Anyhow, I managed to get some really nice photos of the masks from around the world that depict how the pre-Lenten Mardi-Gras type festivals  are  celebrated. Yes! they allowed photos! I was so excited.
I hope you enjoy them.
A simple Italian mask
The masks are from Spain, Italy, Portugal, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, USA, and Switzerland, and a few other places that unfortunately I forgot. Anyhow, my favorite masks were the fancy jeweled one from Spain (green feathers and jewels), and the bird man from Spain(black plague dr’s mask) and the mask that looks like the phantom of the opera, as well as the green lady from Switzerland(green hair), and the metal sculpted one from Mexico (dragon eyes and snake heads).
An elaborately jeweled mask from Spain
Carnival, Carnevale, Fassnacht, Entroido- the annual pre-Lenten festival most people in the United States know as “Mardi Gras” is celebrated throughout Europe and the Americas.
This mask depicts a dr's mask from the time of the Black Plague. Mask from Italy
a Mask from Italy
Many of today’s Carnival activities are not necessarily religious, but the “feast before famine” excess is still deeply rooted in its litugurical origins.
Different cultures have different words for “Carnival” or the pre-Lenten festivities.
Tlaxcala, Mexico mask
detail on Tlaxcala, Mexico mask
A mask from Mexico
Italians refer to it as “Carnevale” meaning “flesh farewell”, and the Spanish and Portugese refer to it as “Carnaval”, and the English call it “Carnival”… The Swiss-German peoples refer to it as “Fasnacht” or Night before fasting, and the French  call it “Mardi Gras” or “Fat Tuesday”.
Mask from Switzerland/Fasnacht celebration
Elaborate details on mask from Spain
No matter how the different cultures celebrate this event, one thing was for certain…the masks were all elaborate and colorful and unique. “Carnival” is all about turning the regular order upside down. What better way of doing so than donning a mask and parading through the streets as someone else?
Spanish masks

1 comment:

Jessie said...

Oh what beautiful and interesting masks! They had to be so neat to see in person!!