Masks were worn by characters in Chinese Opera hundreds of years ago. However, this mask is modern and was probably made as a souvenir. Nowadays, masks are not worn in Chinese Opera but bright make-up is used instead.
Many colors are used in any given Chinese mask, but the dominant colors impart specific characteristics.
Red used on masks indicates a positive character. Red can also mean prosperity, loyalty, courage and heroism. Red shows intelligence and bravery.
Colors have symbolic meaning in Chinese Opera, for example, red shows that the character is brave and loyal, while black is used for a honest person. This mask is red and black and so we think it is likely to be that of a warrior jing (painted face) because, in the opera tradition, warriors are considered to be courageous, loyal and forthright. Jing characters play a supporting male role and are usually warriors, statesman or demons.
Some damage – crack on right side of face.
8-3/4” x 6-3/4” (22.3cm x 17.3cm)
Item # 10034-M