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Safety Design Development

Mankind Mask just after it was completed

Safety is always a concern. You and your opponents safety are taken into consideration when designing and making your mask. I will not make something that I believe might be unsafe.

Originally the WWF World Wrestling Federation (now WWE World Wrestling Entertainment) wanted me to make the "Mankind Mask" with large metal buckles on it. This seemed unsafe to me and I refused to make it.


It was nearly an exact copy of the 'Silence of the Lambs' film mask. I told them to call the movie studio; they owned the design. I do not make copies of other peoples work. This is not only legally unwise but you will not get what you need from the mask design.

That is when I questioned the WWF creative team, finding out what emotions and elements they were really looking for. Then I designed the first draft of the "Mankind Mask" on a paper napkin, which the creative team took up to Vince for approval. Mick Foley was very thankful, and the original ridiculous unworkable design was totally scraped.

After the fitting when the mask was finished Mick Foley said, "…Thankfully, the Hannibal Lecter bars were gone from the mouth as was the whole metal concept. Instead it was a light brown rawhide leather mask with a mouth I could actually move."

Abuni Wrestling Mask with safety features


I originally started making wrestling masks after someone shattered a bone in his face and the client wanted a protective mask that looked theatrical. In most wrestling masks I line the mask with protective heavy rubber in strategic places. Besides the leather (which absorbs shock), this gives an extra layer of protection to the wrestler.

When Abuni was training to be a wrestler he purchased the Abuni mask which I designed for him. One day he called me after he fell on his head on to the floor outside of the ring from the top rope and said, "everyone rushed over and asked, you all right? Yes I hardly felt it. The mask must have protected me."

When I design a mask for you or with you, your safety and the people you're working with as well as the activities you're engaged in are always part of the design. Coming from and being part of the theatrical performing world I know what it is like working in a mask. I bring all of my expertise to the mask I create for you.

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Contact Stanley Allan Sherman - Mask Arts Company
212-255-2882: 203 West 14th St Studio 5F, New York NY 10011-7138

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