POMPEO DE PELLEGRIN
Pompeo De Pellegrin was born in Belluno in 1968 and his first encounter with the masks of the traditional carnival of Val Zoldana took place in 1990, when some enthusiasts in Fornesighe with the help and historical advice of Gianni Secco reiterated the tradition of the “gnaga “. The celebration of this ancient traditional carnival had been virtually stopped in the late 1960s, due to the strong emigration of the Zoldans in search of work, mainly in Germany.
The masks used in this first “re-edition” were made of plastic: in fact, what was then in the shops, at low cost. But the memory of old carnivals and the search for the authenticity of the tradition soon prompted participants to try to resume the carving of wooden masks, as it had always been.
In 1991 the association “Il Piodech Zoldan” was founded and Pompeo enthusiastically joins in. The association aims to promote and enhance the traditional carnival of Fornesighe, known by the name of its main character, the “gnaga”, and soon launches a yearly competition among carvers to reward the best wooden masks made specifically for the occasion. At first, only local carvers participated to the contest (among them, of course, Pompeo), but soon many enthusiasts and carvers from the neighboring areas joined, extending participation far beyond the province of Belluno. Pompeo became one of the most supportive advocates of the association over the years, contributing to the organization of the feast and the competition, held each year on the first Sunday of February, always presenting his new mask.
In 2002 he was invited to the event “Su la maschera!” in Tarcento, a symposium of wooden mask carvers aiming to promote and make known this fundamental element of the traditional carnivals of the Alpine region. In that year some ten carvers decided to create a new association, the “Consorzio dei Mascherai Alpini”, and Pompeo is one of the founders.
Since then he has participated in numerous sculpture events of traditional wooden masks, he is invited to Mamoiada in Sardinia, and exhibits his works in Dortmund -Germany- on the occasion of the “Italian week”.
A great mountain enthusiast, he is also a guide of the CAI and frequently publishes the photos of his dolomitic tours on his facebook page. He recently appeared as a film shot in his village, collaborating as well with some scenic set-ups.
Since 2002 he has been always participating at the yearly symposium of “Mascherai Alpini”, which takes place in different locations of the Alpine regions of Italy, Austria and Slovenia.
His masks are displayed in private collections of Veneto, Friuli, Trentino, Germany, Portugal and Brazil.