HALLOWEEN FOREVER

The mask allows us, in fact, to show ourselves how we want and to play our role as actors as we see fit. A certain metaphysical prejudice has always seen in the mask an instrument of concealment and falsification of reality. Something that would make us hopelessly inauthentic. But if by authenticity we mean the possibility of adhering to the idea we have of ourselves, the mask becomes the means to become what we feel we are. The mask allows us, in fact, to show ourselves how we want and to play our role as actors as we see fit. And then the mask, instead of an element of deprivation, becomes the main symbol of freedom of expression and the freedom to choose what to express and what not.
The mask helps us to become something else, to “lose” part of those traits that would make certain games psychologically difficult. Masks have always had this power, to make those who wear them lose their humanity, in order to contact more primitive, more instinctive and profound energies and impulses. Inside the mask, behind the mask and through the mask we can be anyone, and we can express all kinds of energy. It is not the mask that determines what is expressed: it remains only a simple object, until it is worn and helps to express the inner being.
Through a mask the self communicates in the world. The mask represents the universal Self. Its power flows into the one who wears it, without however changing its identity. In life, as in the theater, the mask is the communication of roles; but it has two openings, for the eyes.
Through a mask the self communicates in the world. The mask represents the universal Self. Its power flows into the one who wears it, without however changing its identity. In life, as in the theater, the mask is the communication of roles; but it has two openings, for the eyes. More pulpits, “they should be taken off.” What civilization would be formed in this way? Horrible, according to Kerenyi, even terrifying. Masks. They existed thousands of years ago. Well before our culture, and its scale of values. Back then, in the early days, the mask was quite another thing. And he lived in free and wild nature: extraordinary. Of course he also participated in secret, mystery and magic cults. This was then. However, always, in every place on earth and in every time, he constituted a link to the sacred. In the mask there is the power: of the god, of the demon, of the mythical animal, of the vital forces circulating in the world; for this reason it is not for everyone to carry it with impunity, without running risks. Space constraints impose restrictions and choices that are difficult to accept: the topic is interesting, vast, fascinating. We will live together only the moment of the start of the research. We will have to be content with glimpses, moments, barely touched intuitions. We will go back in time, for centuries, and even more, for millennia: to the origins of the mask. We will revisit it in the Greek theater. Finding known notions, perhaps discovering something new. Almost a game. A little strange, perhaps. “Playing with a mystery instrument,” says Kerenyi, “has always remained a mysterious game.”
Covering, hiding, frightening, protecting are secondary functions of the mask. Its main function is to ‘unify by transforming’. The wearer is transformed into what it represents: the two become one. This is due to the meaning that the mask has in itself. Even if not worn, it can represent the god and assume his function: the mask is a mysterious instrument.
Masks along with noise and color have primitive origins, and have evolved over time. For centuries it was thought that those who used them could assume divine powers and forces, or take possession of the spirit of a specific animal of which they wanted to take the form. For this reason, the Egyptians and other peoples of central-eastern Europe used the funerary mask, a thin sheet of gold to preserve the appearance of the noble and rich deceased over time. In Italy, the primitive origin of the masks can be seen in those of the Mammuthones of Sardinia, used to welcome spring with ancient rites linked to the cycle of life and seasons and to peasant tradition. Their purpose is to drive out the forces of darkness and the sadness of winter.
The mask has mysterious functions and there is evidence of it on cave paintings. The origin of the term MASK is controversial and probably derives from the medieval Latin mascha which means ‘witch’. During the Middle Ages, masks were used in sacred or profane representations and depicted demonic beings. The “masca” was the witch and from here came the meaning of “ghost”. Other rumors say that “mask” could also derive from the Arabic maskharah which means “caricature or mockery” and indicates the costume or camouflage that covers the face and the person.

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