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History of Music
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Custom (1/7)
Custom Maschta-procession in Hitzendorf

Early Christianity

The Masks of Mautern

Image a)

Image b)

Image c)

Image d)

It was only at the beginning of the 20th century that clay masks and mask fragments dating from the 2nd c. A.D. were discovered near the town of Mautern on the Danube.

Ex. a) shows a complete mask in the shape of a calf's head. The mask in

Ex. b) is supposed to be a devil ("Teufelsfratze") with animal ears and horns but otherwise human.

The fragment of a mask shown in ex. c) looks like a pig's head,

the one in ex. d) has human features.

The masks may have been destined for heathen masquerades at the beginning of the new year that the church had prohibited, or for the period of Lent. These are the so-called calf-and-deer imitations ("Kälbchen- und Hirschlein-Darstellen") and the "Monstra" (devil's mask). Similar animal masks can be found all around the world, especially during periods of a changing season. (E. Stadler)

© Magistrat der Stadt Krems/Donau MA V - Kulturverwaltung. Körnermarkt 14, A-3500 Krems/D.
Links to other albums:
Encyclopedia of AustriaFrühchristentum A>, Mautern an der Donau

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