Back in 1925, photographer Joseph Rock took this shot of a Tibetian skeleton dancer. Wow, what an amazing costume.
Skeleton dancers were monks, taking on the role of deities whose job is to protect cemeteries, and remind the audience of their immortality. You can watch a modern version of this dance below, recorded in 2002.
[Magic Transistor via Boing Boing]
Here are some Bulgarians wearing babugeri costumes. Very interesting! Chewbacca would approve. They are dressed as the legendary Wilder Mann and masquerading in a pagan ritual.
The Wild Man is a legendary creature, son of a bear and a woman, a sort of medieval superman. The tradition of celebrating once a year the return of the Wild Man spreads all over Europe and adapts the myth into different materials and hybrids.
[Deconcrete via Reddit]
Take a look at these amazing costumes from Rio Carnival 2013. Ha, I love the guys inside the VW Beetle. It certainly looks like an amazing time was had by all.
Photos courtesy of ibtimes. Follow the link to view the full gallery. Happy Mardi Gras!
The Asara Mudmen of Papua New Guinea have some really creepy costumes. The masks help strike fear into their enemies, and with good reason.
Legend has it that the mudmen were defeated by an enemy tribe and forced to flee into the Asaro River. They waited until dusk before attempting to escape. The enemy saw them rise from the muddy banks covered in mud and thought they were spirits. Most tribes in Papua New Guinea are very afraid of spirits, so the enemy fled in fear, and the Asaro Mudmen escaped. The Mudmen then went into the village to see what had happened, not knowing the enemy tribesmen were still there. The enemy were so terrified they ran back to their village and held a special ceremony to ward off the spirits.
The mudmen could not cover their faces because legends say that the people of Papua New Guinea thought that the mud from the Asaro river was poisonous. So instead of covering their faces with this alleged poison, they made masks from pebbles that they heated and water from the waterfall, with unusual designs such as long or very short ears either going down to the chin or sticking up at the top, long joined eyebrows attached to the top of the ears, horns and sideways mouths.
[Link via Reddit]
The Mines shopping mall in Malaysia recent held their annual Merdeka Costume Fashion Contest. It’s a flag-inspired fashion show, where children pay tribute to the Malaysian states. Part of the contest involves singing, dancing or performing some other talent.
The photo at the top shows the girl who won. She’s 11 years old, and wore all 14 state flags of Malaysia on her hat and gigantic hibiscus sewn onto her gown. Isn’t that lovely?
The little girl below was the youngest contestant. She’s 5 years old and is dancing to country music in this photo. Very cute!
[via nst.com. Photos by Danial Noordin.]
It’s Carnival day at My Disguises! Well, at least it worked out that way, as all I’ve posted so far are costumes from various carnivals. I never know which direction the costume winds will blow, I’m just along for the ride.
Check out these Brazilian carnival costumes with LED lights attached. These costumes were part of the Olympic closing ceremonies, with a special tribute to Brazil. Designers Moritz Waldemeyer and Jum Nakao collaborated to create an elaborate performance of “an eighty-piece drum parade, brazilian samba girls, amazonian folk dancers, and maracatu.” The lights actually flashed to the beat of the drums. That would have been quite a sight to see!
“We wanted to root our creations in Brazilian culture and history but with a twist. The jewellery is actually made up of electronics equipment – circuit boards and cables – and even drinking straws, a reference to grassroots creativity.”
Waldemeyer also explored new territories regarding LED programming. Usually the costumes would be individually controlled by battery, however, for the first time, Waldemeer synchronized the LEDs’ animation to all beat to the drums. He did this by employing the available Olympic radio network, and created a system where the costumes respond the tempo of the music so that they are all perfectly in time.
Take a look at these carnival costumes from the Taste of the Caribbean Festival in Hartford, CT. The Institute for Community Research sponsors a costume camp for teens, known as Mas Camp. Girls learn to make exquisite costumes based on carnivals around the world.
An exhibit featuring their costumes opened yesterday at the ICR Gallery in Hartford. If you’re in the area, you should check it out. Really amazing work! View the full gallery on their Facebook page.
The event will also mark the graduation of 20 young women plus over 50 volunteer students who have been learning how to make and wear colorful and imaginative costumes (Mas) such as those worn in Trinidad‐style carnivals around the world. The six‐week project is a collaboration of the Institute’s Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program (CHAP) and the Connecticut International Cultural Carnival Association (CICCA), whose director Linford “Junior” Miller has organized costume production and display for several national and international carnivals.
[via Hartford Courant & Facebook]
Photographer Anne-Sophie Stolz shot a series of amazing photos of costumes from the annual Swabian-Alemannic Fastnacht festival in Swabian Bavaria. Basically, it’s their version of Mardi Gras, and many of the carnival costumes are extremely elaborate.
She’s hoping to revitalize the mythology and tourism in Bavaria. These photos are part of her project, Cuckoo Clock and Cherry Cake. Learn more by visiting fastcodesign or her Official Website.
Today, it’s officially a pre-Lenten feast, but in Bavaria (and across much of Austria and Switzerland) the traditions contain artifacts of older times: villagers dress in masks and costumes and parade through the streets in a symbolic expulsion of winter’s gloom. The night culminates in the burning of an “old man winter” effigy (you know, typical Catholic stuff). Stolz, who calls herself “a tourist in her own town,” staged portraits of Fastnacht attendees dressed in their finery: suits covered in pine cones, demons with horns, and men covered in grass and moss. The series contrasts the banality of life in a small town with what Stolz calls “the phenomenon of preservation, of holding old values are important points of life there.”
[annesophiestolz.de via fastcodesign]