Maschera de vesta or Zendà

[group of woman with zendà]This was a mask typical of lower-class Venetian women.

The “zendale” was a very short black shawl or a very large handkerchief knotted together and placed on the head.

It was either black or white and was often lined with beautiful lace or transparent gauze which either hid or coquettishly revealed hid the female face.

Married women would wear them white.

During carnival everything was permissible and many noble-women would wear this costume.

The chronicles of the day tell us of an event that happened in 1782, when the future empress Maria of Russia, during her honeymoon with her husband Paul , wore the zenda and intermingled with crowd in St Mark’s to enjoy the carnival.