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Historical Masks
This stone mask from the preceramic Neolithic period dates to
7000 BC and is probably the
oldest mask in the world
Replica of the funeral
mask of K’inich Janaab’
Pakal at the Museo
Nacional de la Mascara in
Mexico
The so-called 'Mask of
Agamemnon', a 16th Century
BCE mask discovered by
Heinrich Schliemann in 1876 at
Mycenae, Greece. National
Archaeological Museum,
Athens.
Greek masks
Men in Greek Drama had to play woman's parts.
The reason why the Greeks used masks is because there were huge amounts of
ceremonies devoted to Dionysus, the god of wine, vegetation and festivals, which all
included the use of masks. One of the main reasons why masks were worn was also
that in plays there were many female roles, but since at that time women weren’t
allowed to play, therefore a man would play the role with a female mask. Another
function of masks by the ancient Greeks was that a actor could easily change roles by
just changing his mask.
Commedia dell'arte
Commedia dell’arte (Italian pronunciation: [komˈmɛːdja delˈlarte])
is a form of theatre characterized by masked “types” which began
in Italy in the 16th century and was responsible for the advent of
the actresses and improvised performances based on sketches or
scenarios.
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