The Chinese character Nuo originally meant a patterned step to drive away evil during the last month of the Chinese lunar year. Later, Nuo evolved into a dance. Masks carved out of quality camphor or willow wood are the soul of Nuo Drama. These two kinds of wood are durable and easy to carve. Furthermore, folklore holds that they contain spirits. A mask also has religious implications; as the symbol and medium of a spirit, masks are governed by strict rules. People believe that after performance of a certain ceremony upon its completion, a mask becomes a living god. Women are not allowed to touch a mask, much less put one on.
Carved wood – 9-3/4” x 6-1/4” (25cm x 16cm)