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Presented by aboutKolo 50 masks and accompanying materials. As well as costumes, clowns, shamans. The geography of the exhibits is vast: from the Baltic to Siberia. From the late nineteenth century (Siberian mask, which was used during the bear festival, 1880) to the present. The youngest exhibit was created in 2015, this is a Romanian mask from the territory of Ukraine in Chernivtsi region, with the bright holiday of Malanka (the procession of maskers, which of course is masked).

Visitors in masks, medical, protective, without them to look at the mask it is impossible. During a pandemic, it is the actual accessory, which became a daily and important subject from the point of view of security. And the Museum has responded to this fact with an exhibition.

Wearing a mask, you can change yourself, to amuse and to frighten others and even to save the world. This is an incredibly interesting subject for collection of any Museum, and are quite rare. Unique exhibits. What is their uniqueness? Not all the peoples of the mask was kept in the family, inherited. These attributes after the performance of the rite it was customary to destroy, to smash, to burn, to throw away, considering the subject are important but dangerous – no wonder they bestowed the epithets “fucking faces, demons, Hari.” Therefore, according to experts, the presence of masks in the collection of the Ethnographic Museum – a great success.

– Transformation in zoomorphic, anthropomorphic characters and nomernyh creatures with the help of donning masks, skins, fur coats turned inside out or a special costume reproducing mythological ideas about supernatural forces and the need for contact with them. It is no coincidence that the emergence of entertainers devoted to the celebrations or rituals associated with the changes in nature and human life. In the popular mind the mythological value of many calendar holidays was determined by their “borderline” character. The gap between the old and the new year, the winter solstice and the spring was considered dangerous to humans, because at this time the land was plundered by evil spirit. Wedding is also considered a rite of transition, when the person is “dying” in one’s status and were born in another, – tells the candidate of historical Sciences, researcher of the Museum Valentina Kuznetsova.

the Peoples of Eurasia to create a mask, used a variety of materials, often in the course were bark, paper, textiles. The mask could paint with charcoal, add fur, hemp, tow, imitating a beard and mustache, and insert “teeth” of rutabagas, potatoes, radish. Often masks became altogether everyday items – scarves, towels, even clay pots.

the Slavs, Balts, Finno-Ugric peoples, the Latins were distributed driving zoomorphic masked – “goat”, “horse”, “bear”, “tour” mainly at Christmas and Shrove Tuesday. These masks GPhave lomali the idea of fertility. In some southern Russian and Volga regions on the Trinity or on week week drove mermaid-“horse”. It could represent two guys, covered with a canopy, one hand gave the stick a wooden fork or tongs, which housed the “Mare’s head”. The mermaid was led by a leader, who instead of a head was a clay mask.

the Young visitors to the exhibition attracts a witch costume, devil’s assistant, a character Shrovetide processions (Lithuania, beginning the third quarter of the twentieth century). There is the costume of the foreigner is a character of regenia on Christmas eve (Romania), from the bucket made the crown of the hat mask. Mask of the shaman, trimmed with bear fur. The Tuvan shaman’s costume (end of XIX -beginning of XX century), in front and behind you can see images of human faces – male and female, as explained by the curators of the exhibition is spirits of the ancestors of the magician who helped him during the ritual (immersion of a shaman in trance, communicating with spirits). See a mask similar to tiger’s face.

Elena Andreeva, researcher, Department of Ethnography of the peoples of Siberia and the Far East informs.

Siberian mask kept apart from the masks of other peoples, especially shamanic. They were not destroyed, but were inherited, they were appreciated and looked after before the ceremony was anointed with vodka or alcohol, treated fat, blood. Made them out of metal, wood, sometimes made of birch bark, painted colors. We have presented masjidi – smaller versions of the masks, the faces of the ancestors and spirit helpers of the shaman, they could be on a garment or headdress of a man. It was believed that during the ceremony they help him with advice. The mask the shaman put on the face, or exhibited in the most prominent place and during the ceremony he turned to her for help.

Exhibited a rather rare masks of the participant of the mystery Tsam (dance mystical content). Did them in special workshops, papier-mache, decorated with semi-precious stones and metals. Here and carved wooden figurines – made Mongolian artist-Lama-order Mongoloid, Consul General of the Russian Empire in Urga James Shishmaref, who brought them to St. Petersburg in the early twentieth century.

By the way, exhibits a lot of years, the Museum staff brought from their expeditions, all shamanic mask is received before 1913.

the Exhibition will run until 30 October.