This hand made wooden Nuo drama mask features Zhang Fei, who was a gereral of the Shu Kingdom (221~263) during the Three Kingdoms period of China. The mask is painted in black and red to reflect Zhang Feis personality. Black represents bravery while the red color represents uprightness and loyalty.
In the historical novel Romance of Three Kingdoms, Zhang Fei was originally a butcher, then eventually became the second member of the Five Tiger Generals in the period of "Three Kingdoms". According to the legend, he was sworn blood brother of Liu Bei and Guan Yu, in an oath made in a Peach Garden. In the novel, he has an obsession with wine that affected his judgment from time to time; however, that is apparently an invention of Luo Guanzhong for the novel as Zhang Fei was not known as an alcoholic historically.
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.