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Carved out of one single piece of wood, the mask shows both the fine craftsmanship and creativity of the artist. The bold style and harsh lines created a very fierce-looking guardian.
The mask is based on the Home Guardian from Nuo dramas. The Home Guardian is in charge of the safety of every home in the village. The two heads of the guardian will take turns day and night protecting the people. The big mouth he has will swallow anything that tries to sneak into the homes.
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.