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Nō Mask of Hannya




Meiji period (1868-1912)


Nō Mask of Hannya


Carved wood, lacquer


23.4 x 17.1 cm


Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Gerald W. Birks, inv. 1949.50.Ee.1


Archeology and World Cultures

The hannya is a mask worn by the character of a beautiful woman who has been transformed into an ugly demon through jealous rage. This mask has gilt horns and teeth, and hair painted in disarrayed strands. Hannya masks are given different skin tones to convey different states: when paler than this mask, they express feminine delicacy and are worn in such plays as Aoi-no-ue [Lady Aoi]; when dark red, they embody great passion, as can be seen Dōjō-ji [The Girl at Dōjō-ji Temple] and Kuro-zuka [Black Mound].

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