Lazarim and its alder masks

A village in the mountains of northern Portugal and its old Carnival made of alder masks.

There’s one thing in common in many places at the North of Portugal and Spain: the strong traditions around masks and those who wear it. Each of these celebrations has its own symbolism and calendar, often are fitted around Winter Solstice or Shrovetide, and the origins are very similar and go as far as pagan, pre-christian, mostly Celtic origins. These are rituals where anonymity makes possible what’s not tolerated in the rest of the year, the rich and the poor can switch places, issues that have been kept inside throughout the year can be now said or even avenged and settled under the cloak a costume or a mask worn by the “caretos” (the masked figures common to many). And what makes Lazarim known is the intricate and elaborate alder masks, crafted wooden pieces that, in its traditional form, take the shape of gentlemen, ladies and the most popular of all: demons.

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eFUJIFILM X-E2 (35mm, f/2, 1/100 sec, ISO1000)
The blackboard of elementary school, with the written summary from the last school day before Carnival (February 5th)
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FUJIFILM X-E2 (35mm, f/2, 1/450 sec, ISO200)
Adão’s workshop, one that still builds alder masks in the traditional way.
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FUJIFILM X-E2 (35mm, f/2, 1/100 sec, ISO200)
Eduardo, Adão’s son, hand-carving a new mask from a solid piece of wood.
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https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/215679797FUJIFILM X-E2 (35mm, f/2, 1/400 sec, ISO200)
Elder man holding a cane with a carved mask in it.
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FUJIFILM X-E2 (35mm, f/2.2, 1/4400 sec, ISO200)
The hills outside Lazarim.
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FUJIFILM X-T10 (85mm, 1/900 sec, ISO200)
The old houses of the village.
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FUJIFILM X-T10 (18mm, f/2, 1/100 sec, ISO800)
Having a glass of jeropiga inside a cellar at one of village’s houses.
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FUJIFILM X-T10 (18mm, f/2.2, 1/480 sec, ISO200)
Shrovetide parade, with caretos doing tricks on the crowd along the way.
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FUJIFILM X-T10 (18mm, f/2.2, 1/900 sec, ISO200)
Shrovetide parade, little boy delighted with one of the caretos.

Written by

Web developer that takes photos and wanders the world. Based in Lisbon, Portugal. Working at @darwinLabs, mostly with Outsystems . http://joaoalmeida.info

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