Art Mask Essay

316 Words2 Pages
Hannya-“The Raging Demon Women” A mask is an object normally worn on the face, typically for protection, performance, or entertainment. The legend of Hannya derived from an ancient Japanese cultural tale of unrequited love. A woman fell in love with a priest and eventually expressed it to him, but unfortunately he denied her and in a fit of rage the women had turned into a serpent with the head of what is now commonly known as Hannya. From then on the face of the demon has been represented as anger in Noh Theater, Shinto and Buddhist ceremonies, dance, and festivals. The oldest mask dates back to the 14-15th century and generally is recognized by the striking pointed horns, metallic eyes and teeth, and the expression that exhibits pure wrath. Also the coloring of the face, ranging from red to white or black, signifies the degree of passion in the demon’s anger. In many cultures, legends are commonly reenacted in festivals and dances and in this case the popular Chinese cultural tradition of the dragon/lion dance is similar to the Hannya. Both came from some ancient legend that couldn’t be exactly told; yet they became wide spread in their own way and appeared in many public plays. The demon Hannya portrayed a negative image of rage while as the dragon/lion dance became a symbol of fortune, nobility, and power. No matter what culture, masks have always been a style of art that revealed outward personalities and moods. They are not simply for entertainment but also a form of display that passes on countless stories and mysteries to every wearer and viewer. Citation "Eddie Charlton Tatts." Eddie Charlton Tatts. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2013. "Hannya Mask." By Fukuoka Mitsumasa. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2013. "Traditions - Folk Art." Dragon Dance. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.
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