Masquerade Costume Mask

About this object

History of use

Masquerade costume mask. By 2011, red and black metal masks were only being made in Podence by José Alves. Masquerade and Carnival was suppressed in Podence during the years of Portugal's dictatorship but they were temporarily revived in the 1970s, before almost again disappearing a decade later. The value of this endangered cultural heritage was then realized, leading to its rescue and resurgence to become a symbol of regional identity. Normally only hornless masks are used for performances, in order to safeguard their wearers from being accidentally stabbed.


José Alves first made many of these masks (see 2956/203-215) to be used by villagers for a performance at EuroDisney in Paris; he later agreed to allow Shelton to purchase them for the MOA collection.

Physical description

Black painted metal mask with a protruding pointed nose. There are red elongated diamond shapes painted around the eyes and red painted around the mouth opening, as well as a red "x" on the forehead. A section of white elastic is tied through a hole at each side of the mask, extending across the back. (Also, see costume: 2956/203 b-c and bells: 2956/203 d-i.)