Mask of Infamy

The Medieval Torture Museum

San Gimignano, Italy

The mask of infamy brings about two different inflictions: a spiritual one and a physical one. The victims were both staked out to public ridicule and at the same time they were physically tortured. The masks sometimes had inner devices, such as a ball, which were forced into the victim's nose or into the mouth, thus preventing him or her from wailing and shrieking.

The mask with long ears represented a silly ass person, while the one with a snout or with a pig face symbolizes the animal being considered dirty.


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