Solrun Hoaas (essay date winter 1982)
SOURCE: Hoaas, Solrun. “Noh Masks: The Legacy of Possession.” The Drama Review 26, no. 4 (winter 1982): 82-86.
[In the following essay, originally published in Les Masques et leurs Fonctions, Hoaas explores the history of Noh masks, considering how they have evolved from being used as religious objects to being objects of artistic beauty that nevertheless have retained an intrinsic sense of sacredness.]
The history of the Noh mask is one of transition from religious object to artistic object. In the early exorcism and rice-planting rites that preceded Noh, when an actor put on a demon mask, he became a demon. When he put on the mask of a god, he became a...
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