urSu the Master Mystic Puppet Head from The Dark Crystal

urSu the Master Mystic Puppet Head from The Dark Crystal

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Description

This is the head of the urSu puppet from the 1982 film The Dark Crystal. urSu the Master is part of the urRu, or Mystic, race which are slow-moving, peaceful creatures. The mystics are the counterparts to the Skeksis. They are philosophers who hold the mystical wisdom of their world. urSu the Master dies in the beginning of the film after choosing death so that the balance of the Mystics and the Skeksis could be broken. He was incredibly wise.

The elongated wrinkled head is made of foam and latex. It is painted in soft brown tones with sleepy shrouded eyes with soft wisps of brown and gray hair on either side of the head. There are wires coming from the head which are connected to controls that were used to move the head and facial features. The Mystic puppets were built as several different components that could be connected with Velcro. This meant that the puppet could be disassembled into various parts, allowing the puppeteer to only use the head section of the puppet when filming a close-up scene without being burdened by the weight of the entire body section of the puppet.

The Dark Crystal was a fantasy film directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz and released in 1982. The film was made entirely with the use of puppets and features no human actors. In the film, two members of the Gelfling race, Jen and Kira, go on a journey to return a lost shard of the dark crystal in order to defeat the evil Skeksis and restore balance to the planet Thra before it is too late.

Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
Mystic
puppet
Skeksis
date made
ca 1980
maker
Henson, Jim
Physical Description
glass (eyes material)
latex (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
wire (overall material)
metal (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 9 in; 22.86 cm
ID Number
2013.0101.22
accession number
2013.0101
catalog number
2013.0101.22
Credit Line
Gift of the Family of Jim Henson: Lisa Henson, Cheryl Henson, Brian Henson, John Henson and Heather Henson
subject
Dark Crystal
Motion Pictures
Movie
Puppetry
Entertainment, Film
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
Jim Henson
Movie Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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Comments

Thanks for displaying the mystics head online. He was designed by Brian Froud and the sculpt and mechanism were made by me back in the 1980’s. I was very lucky to have worked on the movie sculpting and building all of the mystics, as well as many of the pod people slaves, the Crystal bats, and the Landstrider. Regards,

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