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The significance of traditional masks in Neamt County

19 December 2013 No Comment

11-semnificatie-masti-judetul-neamt-2013In the Romanian popular tradition masks are worn with the occasion of winter holidays. The masks represent a fantastic world that is born from the traditional thinking. The masks personify spirits of the ancestors, real or fantastic animals, vegetation or water spirits. The masks are used in rituals or dances specific to this time of the year.

Masks contribute to the general winter atmosphere and are part of who we are, of our culture and heritage. The masks represent rebirth, fertility, the resurrection of the vegetation or speak about the image of our ancestors.

The most common zoomorphic masks are the goat, the bear, the stag or the horses. The masks personify different human aspects or types like old men and women, uncles, tradesmen, devils and so on. To create these masks the local artisans use different materials like pieces of leather or cloth, fur, weaves, carved wood, tree bark or animal horns.

The masks are expressions of an ancient culture that crosses sands of time to connect with the present day people when the current year is almost finished and the new year is right behind the corner.

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