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Pair of shishi-masks for the lion dance, Japan, 20th c.

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Pair of shishi-masks for the lion dance, Japan, 20th c.
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A pair of wooden (keyaki) lion-masks used in the shakkyo-dance in the no-theater. They are small masks to be operated by the left and right hands of the dancer. The lower jaws, the ears and the tama and horn can be moved by turning the sticks that they are put on. It is also possible that these were used in the shishimai that was performed during New Year, to exorcise streets and houses of all kinds of evil. Wood with white metal eyes, gilded teeth and goat hair mane. One tip of a curl missing. Lacquer on frontal parts missing, one of the handles cracked, basically very good condition. W 6.5 in. x L 5.5 in. Japan, 20th century.

The print merely illustrates the use of the masks. It does NOT come with the lot.

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