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Wooden Nuo Mask, 'the Bird Taoist'
 

Wooden Nuo Mask, 'the Bird Taoist'

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This handmade wooden mask is the mask of bird taoist from Nuo Drama. The character looks like the mixture of bird and human. The bird Taoist is one of the very common characters from Nuo Drama in Guizhou. The legend has it that he was a crane and took the human form after he obtained magical powers. Just like the way he looks, the personality of the bird Taoist is often just as strange in Nuo dramas.

The Nuo Dance was initially a mystic ritual used to eliminate evil spirits. Its name comes from one of these rituals, where the participants would recite the word "nuo" in order to rid themselves of evil influence. First originating between the 11th and 16th century BC, Nuo has many similarities to early pagan and shamanistic practices; performers would train in ritual procedures and Nuo opera to greet and rid themselves of the evil spirits in question. It has since evolved into a more elaborate drama with masked performers. Although the dance declined after the Song dynasty, it is still performed by Chinese ethnic minorities in remote regions of the Guizhou, Hunan, Sichuan, and Anhui provinces.
The Mask is the soul of Nuo Drama. The wooden mask also has religious implications; as the symbol and medium of a spirit, masks are governed by strict rules. Our masks are made by the best artists and carved to the highest standards.
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