Paulownia wood, lacquered and painted
Overall: 28 x 21 x 18.5 cm (11 x 8 1/4 x 7 5/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1949.158
Gigaku, a ceremonial dance popular during the Nara period, often drew on Japanese folklore as well as Buddhist stories. This particular mask relates to the comic story of King Suiko and his travails. With its comic expression, this mask depicts one of the eight drunken attendants of the king. These attendants would appear at the end of the play, engaging in a humorous dance called the harameki. While the mask would cover the entire head of the actor, there are slots for the eyebrows, eyes, and mouth.
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