Hallowe’en in the UK is no big deal, certainly not a popular holiday the way it is in the US. We aren’t big on trick or treating, or dressing up and playing pranks. We are big on eating lots of sweets, and this is the moment when I regret being on a diet… Oh, and parties. We like those. I can get behind lots of parties. Any excuse for a knees-up!
Then Dreamspinner gave me a publication date for The Jackal’s House of 30 October, aka Hallowe’en Eve.
What a great opportunity to do something around the spookiest, ghostliest, scariest holiday in the calendar! After all, my heroes Rafe Lancaster and Ned Winter have some scary, spooky experiences in the Aegyptian desert, where the ancient god of the dead, Anubis, stalks the ruins at Abydos. Surely, I thought, there would be inspiration there.
So, as you do, I googled. Looking at pictures of Anubis himself gave me just the idea for something to tie into Hallowe’en and parties and dressing up. This is your crafty post, people! How to make an Anubis mask for your Hallowe’en costume.
Whaddya mean, you’re going as a zombie? Pfft. The Walking Dead are so last year. This year, you need to go as a zoomorphic Egyptian god who has a habit of baying at the moon and shepherding souls to the afterlife. Really, Anubis is completely 2017.
Now then, the ancient Egyptians made Anubis masks themselves, because it was embalmer’s job to represent the god while he worked, and part of the embalmer’s uniform was a jackal mask. Perhaps not as everyday workwear, but certainly as part of the initial rituals that started the process of embalming. They made their masks from painted cartonnage – that is, linen soaked with plaster. Like this one:
That might be a little heavy to wear while partying the night away, so here are a couple of suggestions for creating a light-weight mask that looks amazing, and can be created from some basic bits and pieces.
This particular image is all over Pinterest, but no amount of googling has come up with the source. Thankfully the images are self-explanatory when it comes to constructing this. So whoever it was created this—kudos for making a quite brilliant Anubis from nothing more than a plastic Batman mask, a plastic cup, a couple of cardboard ears and a lot of papier maché and paint. Well done!
Another Anubis mask is made by Johannz Aquino on You Tube. It’s still made from simple, easy to find materials, but has a little more complexity than the Batman-based mask. Here it is:
So, there you are, a couple of inspirational ideas to keep you busy getting ready for Hallowe’en.
In the meantime, remember you can pre-order The Jackal’s House here:
and if you send me a copy of the email confirmation (or a screengrab of it) to firstname.lastname@example.org to win some loot and enter a prize draw.
However you’re celebrating Hallowe’en, do have a great time!