About the Busó Masks

The masks are the props of the so-called "Busójárás" – a popular tradition in Mohács, Hungary. The residents wear these masks during the Carnival festivities. This folk custom is based on a legend.

During the rule of the Turks, the residents of Mohács fled across the Danube to the swampy reed areas. They hid there for a long time until one day an old man had a strange dream.

In his dream, a man in golden clothing rode to him on a golden horse and said, "You should carve masks from wood that resemble neither animals nor humans. Paint them with animal blood and dress in animal skins. Take loud instruments and drive the enemy out of your town with great noise and shouting as soon as dawn breaks."

This is the legend in brief. The "Busójárás" is a part of the Carnival season, similar to the Carnival in Rio or Venice, but unique to us in Mohács.

Our family has been making these masks for three generations using traditional techniques and familiar styles. The first artist in our family was Mátyás Kalkán, a true master of folk art. His daughter, Mária Hafnerné Kalkán, learned the art of carving from him and became a folk artist herself. Today, she crafts masks together with her son, the young master of folk art, Miklós Hafner.