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Even if it doesn’t seem like it, Mount Etna is also a place of magic linked to mysteries. There are stories of ghosts of queens who lost their slipper here, there are stories of mysterious sounds heard in Valle del Bove, and for some years mysterious sculptures have appeared among the most beautiful birch trees. Nothing is better than this volcano to celebrate the ancient Celtic festival – later modernized by the Americans! – Halloween. And why not do it by creating a series of typically… Etna masks? That is, using materials and ideas linked to this volcano? We will suggest some ideas to you, perhaps between one excursion and another along the paths coloured by chestnut cupule shells and beech leaves.

halloween ETNA 2A mask made of leaves

Take a cardboard mask, ready-to-use (you can find them at markets) or created by yourself with scissors, strings and box bottoms. Adapt the measurements to your face and create the holes corresponding to the eyes, nose and mouth, or even just the eyes and nose. Once you have the base, collect the fallen leaves that you will find around Etna’s paths and glue them over the entire surface of the mask.

You can vary the colour, using both green and yellow leaves, or base yourself on a mix of warm hues, using yellow, red and brown autumn leaves. If you want, you can add some even more “volcanic” details to the mask: for example, gluing some lava lapilli all around the eyes, or forming some weird eyebrows! You can combine this mask with black or coloured cloaks, or even with tunics created with colors that recall those of leaves!

The lava mask

No… you can’t use lava stone to create your mask. Too hard to carve and too heavy to wear! But you could use lapilli and ash, or both, to build an original mask. Since they are heavier materials than leaves, in order to put the sand and lapilli to the base you will have to use more specific glues: universal glue, for example, or glues for metals and cement. Volcanic ash can also be mixed with vinyl glue to create a paste which, when spread over the shape of the mask, will harden, creating the “lava” rough texture you need. To complete everything you could paint some parts red, so as to simulate burning fire… or monster’s blood!

Mask with chestnut cupules

First of all, handle with care, collect the cupule shells that have already fallen and opened, also obtaining some delicious chestnuts to taste. Being very careful, use scissors or small shears to cut all the tips of the thorns, in order to shorten the volume of the cupules and avoid unpleasant painful incidents!

You can then glue them onto a base, or even onto the sleeves of a costume, forming a sort of scary and particular armor with which to scare your friends! We do not recommend using chestnut cupules for a mask to put on your face. You better avoid scratches! You can still use them to complete some details of costumes, improvised weapons or headgear! (all photos by G Musumeci)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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