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Wooden Nuo Mask, 'Zhang Liao'
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Wooden Nuo Mask, 'Zhang Liao'
Wooden Nuo Mask, 'Zhang Liao'
Wooden Nuo Mask, 'Zhang Liao'

Wooden Nuo Mask, 'Zhang Liao'

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This hand craved and painted mask features Zhangliao, one of the famous generals in Three Kingdoms period (220~280). Mask color often depicts the personality of the character. Yellow represents cunning, for Zhangliao was famous for his wisdom on the battle field and won many battles.

The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a historical novel by Luo Guanzhong, was a romanticization of the events that occurred before and during the Three Kingdoms Period. In the novel, Zhang Liao was depicted as a loyal and upright general. While this might not be untrue, such portrayal was likely the result of artistic simplification.

Zhang Liao (169~222) was a military general under the powerful warlord Cao Cao during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms Period in ancient China. He was most noted for his pivotal role in the Battle of Leisure Ford in 208, where he successfully defended the city of Hefei against advances of Sun Quan (the lord of the Wu kingdom).

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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