The handmade mask features young Guan Yu, one of the most widely respected and worshiped characters from Chinese history. The mask shows Guan Yu with his famous red face and small eyes look. The mask shows Guan at a younger age since he does not have his signature long beard. The dragon and phoenix decoration on the head and ear fins are typical for warriors in Nuo Drama.
Guan Yu (162~219) was a military general under the warlord Liu Bei during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms period in ancient China. One of the best known Chinese historical figures throughout East Asia, Guan Yu's true life stories have largely given way to semi-fictional ones, mostly found in the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms or passed down the generations as folklore, in which his deeds and moral qualities have been much exaggerated.
The Nuo Dance was initially a mystic ritual used to eliminate evil spirits. Its name comes from one of these rituals, where the participants would recite the word "nuo" in order to rid themselves of evil influence. First originating between the 11th and 16th century BC, Nuo has many similarities to early pagan and shamanistic practices; performers would train in ritual procedures and Nuo opera to greet and rid themselves of the evil spirits in question. It has since evolved into a more elaborate drama with masked performers. Although the dance declined after the Song dynasty, it is still performed by Chinese ethnic minorities in remote regions of the Guizhou, Hunan, Sichuan, and Anhui provinces.
The Mask is the soul of Nuo Drama. The wooden mask also has religious implications; as the symbol and medium of a spirit, masks are governed by strict rules. Our masks are made by the best artists and carved to the highest standards.