Bird Masks: For The Flyest of Plague Doctors

Bird Masks: For The Flyest of Plague Doctors

Plague Mask

About protection 

With the recent COVID-19 breakout, the world has been obsessed with trying to protect itself. People have been hoarding disinfectant, gloves, masks... This last one has been especially troublesome, for it has affected our first line of defense: the health system workers. The infamous N95 mask is on massive shortage right now, causing nurses, doctors, beneficiary attendants, etc., to work without this crucial protective device.

So leave the N95 to those who really need it, and go back to the OG disease-repellent mask: the bird mask!

Often associated with the Black Death of the 14th century, the bird mask (a.k.a. beak mask or plague mask), has only been confirmed to be worn almost 300 years later, during the Plague of 1656. Attributed to French doctor Charles de Lorme in 1619, it was to be worn with the classic waxen long coat and wide-brimmed hat, a symbol of the plague doctor's profession. They also had a cane to avoid direct contact with patients.

10/10 for the scent, total failure of efficiency 

The device had two glass panes for the eyes and the seminal beak-like nose, which served as a respiratory filter. The doctors believed that the plague was an airborne disease (it was not), and that putting strong scents in the beak would avoid them breathing the miasma or "bad air", thus protecting them (it didn't). Popular stuffing was dried flowers (roses and carnations), herbs (mint), spices (cloves), laudanum or a plain old sponge soaked in vinegar.

So forget the N95... Why not opt for a more stylish, yet wildly inefficient face accessory! It will at least freak the other customers out to give you that 2 meters distance next time you go grocery shopping! You can find some on our website right HERE.  


And you, fellow LARPers, what would YOU stuff in your beak?

Leave comments below!

Bird Masks: For The Flyest of Plague Doctors


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