"The ugly one's" carnival mask

"The ugly one"

Interesting carnival customs are still very much alive in the villages beneath Mount Krn, with roots dating back to the pre-Christian era. The village boys groups are in charge of keeping these customs alive, as tradition states that only young unmarried boys can disguise themselves. Preparations for the carnival begin before the end of the year with the acceptance of newcomers to the boys community. This is followed by the selection of characters and the production of carnival masks. Carnival characters are divided into the “handsome ones” and the “ugly ones”. The handsome ones go from house to house and wish people good harvest, while the ugly ones run around the village, scaring children with frightening masks, bell‑ringing and ashes. Since 2012, the carnivals in Drežnica and Drežniške Ravne have been included in the Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Slovenia as an original and rich carnival custom.

The photograph here depicts an “ugly one” mask, which was made around 1915 by Anton Bizjak from Drežniške Ravne. Since 1961, it has been part of the ethnological collection of the Tolmin Museum.

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