Venetian Carnival Mask 01

Many faces Venetian carnival mask

The tourist traps all around Venice are littered with little shops selling carnival masks.

Apparently the tradition of holding carnivals in Venice dates back to 1268, and masks were an integral part of the celebrations. The carnivals would last so long that it was possible to spend a fair amount of the year in disguise, which would have been useful for the criminal element I’m sure…

This brilliant golden mask was in the window of one such shop and has three faces blended into one. Apparently there are two methods of making masks – one with leather and the other with papier-mâché.

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