Q: I have a pair of large masks that I purchased from an antiques dealer several years ago. He collected a lot of strange/interesting things and I really liked these masks a lot. Both are almost identical with very subtle differences. They seem to be made of a paper mâché mix with possibly a fiberglass tape…not sure. The sizes are 22 inches wide by 24 inches high.
I purchased a massive lot from him so there wasn’t an individual price. Both of them have two metal handles placed on each side (obviously to hold), and also a painted swing bar in a half moon shape that swings up and rests in the middle (both the bar and the two handles are in the back).
The hair on both seems to be made out of standard yarn and in a lot of various colors. There are two brass bells placed in the mid and top of the head. They are in really great shape. Gregory
A: I believe your interesting mask is one of a kind. Possibly it could even be a class project or theater prop… but not an ethnographic artifact. Bob, MasksoftheWorld
Next day I get the following from Gregory… I did the work last night and found all the information on both masks. They are North Korean lion masks from the Bukcheong sajanoreum. Two lions are part of the Korean play, which is why I have the two matching masks. The lower bar I mentioned acts as the lion’s mouth and teeth.
“The best known of the Korean lion dances is the Bukcheong sajanoreum or lion mask play from Bukcheong. In this dance performers may don five different masks including a huge but comic lion mask. The dance was originally performed every night of first fifteen nights of the lunar New Year, where the dance troupe in lion masks and costumes visited every house in the villages of the Bukcheong region, and the lion dance is meant to expel evil spirits and attract good luck for the coming year. There was also once a court version of the lion dance.” Visit these links for more.