This is a wood carved Yangban mask, a type of traditional Korean Haoetal mask worn in the Hahoe Pyolshin-gut t'al nori ceremony dating back to the 12th century. There are twelve masks of the Hahoetal, each represent the characters needed to perform all the roles in the Hahoe pyolsin-gut. This mask, the Yangban mask, represents the aristocrat in this dance mask drama. The Yangban is the character with the most power, and therefore the object of extreme mockery in the plays. The eyes are painted closed, with deep dark eyebrows and wrinkles surrounding them. The chin is a separate piece from the top of the mask, and the actors can lean forward and back to make the mask smile or frown as needed.
Austin Friends of Folk Art