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Some believe that the name derives from gnau, the sound a cat makes, and it was certainly a disguise that was appreciated by young homosexuals who were forced to hide their sexuality during the rest of the year. However, it must be said that today (as in the past), dressing up as the opposite sex is always fun and intriguing.

The feline aspect recalls the Arlecchino (Harlequin) mask, and, in general, the ambiguous and androgynous nature of each mask. But the matter is complicated: bisexuality; more than a just a mask, Gnaga is cross-dressing from masculine to feminine (a variant with a more pig-like and less feline expression also exists). Frowned upon by the police, provocateur of fights and marches of trouble makers, the mask represents the decay of tradition that distinguished the last century of the Republic.

Seen from a distance, the Gnaga looks like a simple housewife with a wicker basket tucked under her arm; close up, on the other hand, she reveals her obscene identity as a transvestite, barely concealed behind a cat's face, accompanied by feline movements and meows, while also trying to lessen the scandal by bringing a dog or kittens along with her.

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Maschera la Gnaga.

Published: Saturday, 02 March 2019 — Updated: Saturday, 02 March 2019