Masks of the World


Swiss Butzi by Othmar Klauser

aaaMystrySolvd-1037Chris sent this in. His description is better than I could do, so here it is. The YouTube link at the end is in German. I which I could understand the old carver.

I would like to contribute with a mask which I found some time ago on a local internet platform. I knew instantly that it would be a mask from the area around Sargans, eastern Switzerland, as of its style and the characteristic hood attached to the mask. The previous owner had the (unused) mask in her family for a long time, but she did not know much more about it. I managed to find a carver in Flums who could finally identify the initials on the rear: the mask was carved by a now very old carver named Othmar Klauser (KO), in the village of Flums. It was carved in 1966, and this was his mask number 18. The old man was truly happy to see his mask again, after such a long time… It is a typical so-called “Butzi”-mask from this area, combining human features with monster-like ones. “Butzi” means more or less “mask”, and therefore it was a mask “zum go butzne” (meaning to put a mask on one’s face and wear old cloths and then wildly mess around, day and night – a teenagers’ as well as male adults’ joy during carnival, or Fasnet). As far as I know, these activities plus the carving of masks were banned in the first half of the 20th century, and afterwards saw a revival. See this video for another great (but recently deceased) carver of the area:

Chris, 1037


Categories:   Europe