Sunday, February 12, 2012

Venetian Masks - Bauta

The Bauta is to be considered the traditional Venitian mask, the one mostly used to cover your features, made in a way that it is still possible to eat and drink without having to take it off. The Bauta is always black, white or gilded, and it is not only a Carnival mask, in the sense that centuries ago it was also used to protect one's identity in different circumstances. It was mandatory all year long for women who went to the theater and forbidden to girls waiting to be married.

The name bauta may come from the German "behüten"(to protect), as well as from "bau" (or "babau"), typical Italian representation of the monster, or bad beast, used by adults to scare children.

The Bauta mask formed part of an entire outfit. This outfit consisted of a Tabbarro which was a veil or a small cloak starting at the neck and covering the shoulders and a tricorn hat. From this the mask protruded to give complete anonymity.

In 18th century, the Bauta had become a standardized society mask and disguise regulated by the Venetian government.It was obligatory to wear it at certain political decision-making events when all citizens were required to act anonymously.

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