Wide view of Venice: Piazza San Marco - Riva degli Schiavoni

BAUTA mask - Bautta - Bavuta

... Carnival freedom, gambling, betrayal ... all in a mask

The Bauta is to be considered the traditional Venetian mask, the one mostly used to cover your features, made in a way that it is still possible to eat and drink without having to take it off.

The Bauta is usually white, and it is not only a Carnival mask, in the sense in those times it could also be used all year long, to protect one's identity.

It consisted not only of the mask covering the face, but also of the finely woven lace (Zendale), and the black hat with three tips (Tricorno).

The name bauta does not have up to now, a definite interpretation: it may come from the German "behüten" (to protect), as well as from "bau" (or "babau"), typical Italian representation of the monster, or bad beast, used by adults to scare children:

"Se non stai bravo
viene il babau e ti porta via …”

“if you do not behave,
the monster will come over
and will take you away …"

Watercolor by Giovanni Grevembroch - "Mascare"
Giovanni Grevembroch: "Mascare" (Masks)
pen, ink & watercolor (18th century) - Museo Correr, Venezia

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