Every year on Shrove Tuesday, characteristic figures roam the streets of Aliano: they are the “horned” masks that enliven the carnival.

“They were jumping and shouting like maddened beasts,
drunk with their own hue and cry These were peasant masqueraders.

Carlo Levi also mentions “Fras” in his “Christ stopped at Eboli”; an improvised comedy, in dialectal form recounting facts and personages of the local area, whose bizarre horned masks are the protagonists.

They evoke demonic, clumsy creatures, whose threatening character is tempered by colourful hats that decorate their heads.

Forged from clay and papier-mâché, with the skilful work of the local craftsmen, the masks are painted and at the front there are pronounced horns and huge crooked noses. On top of the hats is a hole decorated with a rooster’s feather, while all around strands of coloured paper drop like curls.

The participants parade through the village moving to the sound of accordions and cupa cupa. Unique in their strangeness, the Aliano masks reflect a tradition that has remained unchanged over time.


Parco Letterario CARLO LEVI
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Comune di Aliano
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