Masks carved out of wood and wooden flowers are among craft productions of the Aosta Valley
The use of masks is one of the oldest forms of dressing up and folkloric art. Masks have been used for centuries during rites and ceremonies, which shows and symbolise man's need to "dress up", create fear and represent the bad habits and defects of a community.
In the Aosta Valley, as in other Alpine regions, masks are carved out of wood, and often carved from pieces of tree bark. They are skillfully produced and are rich in vigour and evocative power. The power of expression comes from the eyes, from the more or less arched eyebrows, wrinkled foreheads and imposing noses, mouths with "tongues hanging out" and mocking, scorning or frightening sneers.
The most popular characters that are represented on carved masks are those from the Carnival in the Gran San Bernardo Valley.
Wooden flowers are one of the craftsman's most recent creations. From the wood shavings gracefully set out, stem magnificent flowers inspired by the flora found in the Aosta Valley.