What to Wear When Trying to Be Someone Else: A Guide to Bal Masqué Masks

The night of October 4th won’t just hold a bal. SRQ |The Magazine went one step further and decided the night of October 4th would be a perfect time for a Bal Masqué.

So what does one wear when anonymity is the goal? The obvious first choice is picking out a mask to match the character you are trying to be. In the traditional Venetian Carnevale/Bal Masqué world, there are seven different styles of mask, all representing a different personality. Detailed below is a guide with each mask and its characteristics.

Bauta

bauta

Characteristics: Square jawline, large chin and no mouth. Usually either white or very ornate. Large chin allows the person wearing mask to still be able to eat and drink.

Historic Fact: Those making political decisions in Venice used to wear these masks to ensure anonymity.

Colombina

colombina

Characteristics: Half-mask that covers wearer’s eyes, cheeks and sometimes nose. Heavily decorated and can be colorful.

Historic Fact: Named after a maidservant in the Commedia dell’arte and is the female counterpart to the bauta.

Medico della Peste

medico

Characteristics: Long hollow beak, round eyes (sometimes with wire glasses), white face.

Historic Fact: Mask was worn by plague doctors to prevent disease.

Volto

volto

Characteristics: Full mask that depicts lips, nose and chin. Can be for men or women. Usually have ornate designs.

Historical Fact: Used by those who wanted complete anonymity.

Pantalone

pantalone

Characteristics: Large hooknose that resembles a beak. Slanted eyes.

Historical Fact: Mask originated from a classic character in Italian theater who had a witty and intelligent personality.

Arlecchino

arlecchino

Characteristics: Joker-like and colorful with a short nose and arched brows. Sometimes includes a large headpiece and/or collar.

Historical Fact: Derived from a character in the Commedia dell’arte who is devoid of reason and often serves the more intelligent character, Pantalone.

Zanni

zanni

Characteristics: Long nose, bulging eyebrows and a low forehead.

Historical Fact: The low forehead and long nose shows how stupid the character is.

5

We look forward to seeing all of the fun masks at Bal Masque!

Tickets are on sale now at WWW.SRQBALMASQUE.COM

 

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