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Colombina Masks

Colombina was an early Commedia dell'arte actress in the 15th century whose vanity made her reluctant to camouflage her beauty behind a mask. The half-mask was designed to accommodate her.

Columbina translates from Italian as "little dove" and her character in Commedia dell'arte was usually dressed in a ragged and patched dress appropriate to a hired servant.  Colombina aided her mistress (the innamorata) to gain the affections of her one true love by manipulating Arlecchino and counter plotting against Pantalone while simultaneously managing the whereabouts of the innamorato.

Dream of Italy masks at a ball in Auckland

Today these masks are frequently worn at masked balls and masquerade balls, as they enable the wearer to eat and drink easily.  They are popular with both men and women.

These stunning masquerade masks have evolved into a variety of beautiful designs and are decorated with bright colours, gold and silver leaf, feathers, fabrics, macramé, Swarovski crystal and/or leather.  Because of their popularity, there are now many different themes of of Colombina masks and one of the most popular with women are the Colombina masks decorated with feathers.

A number of the traditional designs such as "Arlecchino" have been adapted to the Colombina mask form due to the popularity of these masks to be worn as a masquerade mask as they allow the wearer full freedom to eat, drink and talk while wearing the mask and mean that the mask can be worn for a full evening out.

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