ITEM 11932

Nuo Mask of Qing Tong

Minority Areas, Southwest China
19th/ Early 20th Century
Ex Old French Collection, and is amongst the finest known

Wood, pigment, metal
9.25 in / 23.5 cm

Nuo is a theatrical custom rooted in a shamanic/animistic tradition dating back thousands of years and preserved in remote mountains by the tribal minorities of SW China. 
The dramas feature heroic battles between the forces of good and evil and serve as a means to drive out devils and malevolent ghosts. This mask is a depiction of Qing Tong, a bouffon character who amuses the guests between acts, while other actors change mask. It comes from an old French collection and is amongst the finest known.