36 Types of Beijing Opera Masks - 8
Yao Qi - Old Cross Face
The cross face makeup evolved from the three-tile face. The principal color
symbolizing the nature of the character is a narrow strip from the top of the
forehead to the top of the nose. This strip intersects the line of the eye
sockets to form a cross, hence the name.
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The two subtypes --- old cross face and the variegated cross face --- both
represent positive characters, such as heroes or bold warriors. The old cross
face has a full beard covering the mouth and the variegated face a beard with
the mouth exposed.
Yao Qi in the opera "Grass-Bridge Pass" has an old black-cross face. His
eyelids droop as a sign of age, but his cheeks are pointed pink to show that he
still has the vigor of youth.
Zhang Fei in the opera "The Reed Marsh" has a variegated black-cross face. As
the bar-shaped brows and smiling eyes resemble a butterfly, the face is also
called a butterfly black-cross face.
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