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Masks and costumes

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In the past the mask was, and still is, the essence itself of the Carnival, by wearing masks and costumes it is possible to hide completely an identity with absolutely no reference to sex religion and age, social level or whatsoever.

This make you behave as use and habit of the impersonate character, a moment of escape from reality and the platitude of everyday same old life.
This is the reason why the most common salutation in use was “good morning mask”.

The use of the mask in Venice start gradually developing from nothing bringing life to a rich activity of production and trade of masks and costumes.
First news of this production are from 1271. Specific tools where made to work the materials necessary to the mask production process, they were embellished with engraves, paintworks, laces and pearls.
The job of “ Mascarer” (Mask Artisan) was officially registered with a special statute in 1946 and still conserved in the state Archive of Venice.

Starting from the XVIII century one of the most diffused mask was the “Bauta” or “Bautta” a very simple mask. The costume, wore by men and women, consist on a with mask called “Larva” a three point hat and a black mantel.

The mask was popular also in some occasion out of the carnival, at the theatre or by people that wanted to be anonymous.

It was possible to drink and eat easily due to the particular shape of this mask, no need to take it off.

Another quite in use disguise was the “gnagna” , a female dress made by commonly used clothes and completed with a cat shaped mask and a nest with a small cat into. The character acted as a low class woman and was shouting and miaowing.

Sometimes this mask was surrounded with other characters dressed as children. Playing the role of a nurse.
Another mask in use was the “Mataccino” a with dressed clown, however it could be dressed in a multicolour suite, a feathered hat , throwing perfumed eggs into the balcony of friends, or girls in love.
Beside there was also the mask of the Art Comedy, well known because of the Goldoni comedy.

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