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Types of African Masks

The Arlecchino
The Arlecchino

From Dante’s Inferno to the Commedia dell’Arte, the story of how a demon turns into a buffoon: a description of Arlecchino’s mask and of its origin.

source: camacana.com
The Bauta
The Bauta

Bauta is a mask which covers the whole face, with a stubborn chin line, no mouth, and lots of gilding. Bauta Masks tend to be the main type of mask worn by men during the Carnival. Party Oasis offers a wide selection of these masculine Bauta masquerade masks in traditional paper mache or a contemporary molded plastic giving the mask a lightweight comfortable wear.

The Pantalone
The Pantalone

Pantaloon, Italian Pantalone, stock character of the 16th-century Italian commedia dell’arte—a cunning and rapacious yet often deceived Venetian merchant. Pantaloon dressed in a tight-fitting red vest, red breeches and stockings, a pleated black cassock, slippers, and a soft brimless hat.

The Volto
The Volto

Volto (Larva) The larva, also called the volto mask, is mainly white, and typically Venetian. It is worn with a tricorn and cloak. It is thought the word "larva" comes from the Latin meaning "mask" or "ghost". Like the bauta, the shape of the mask allowed the wearer to breathe, drink, and speak easily without having to remove the mask. These masks were made of fine wax cloth and so were light and comfortable to wear, making them ideal for a night of socializing and dancing.

The Zanni
The Zanni

Zanni, Zani or Zane is a character type of Commedia dell'arte best known as an astute servant and trickster. The Zanni comes from the countryside. The Zanni is known to be a "dispossessed immigrant worker".[Note 1] Throughout time, the Zanni grew to be a popular figure who was first seen in commedia as early as the 14th century. The English word zany derives from this persona.

image: flickr.com