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Diablo with lots of character

Red Devil

Red Devil

Q: Any idea what part of Mexico this Diablo comes from? I got if off eBay where I was told it had been collected in the 1960s or earlier and had been in a collection in Holland ever since. It’s made of hard wood with boar tusks for teeth. Mark, 841

A: Almost anyone will get a kick out of this oddly shaped Devil mask from Mexico. Certainly I do! But exactly where in Mexico was it made and what is it for. To the latter you could say a dance that characterizes Satan. But this delightful character could have been made strictly to sell to tourist and collectors. Authentic or decorative is always a question. I can’t tell, but in this case (and with many other Mexican masks), the decoratives are as much fun to own and display as the authentic versions.

Categories:   Mexico

Comments

  • Posted: September 25, 2015 15:24

    Bryan Stevens

    Diablos of this form, a wooden mask with attached goat horns, are very typical of the Mexican State of Guerrero. In the absence of measurements and photo of the back, one can't really say much more. Bryan Stevens
  • Posted: September 29, 2015 00:42

    Mark

    Thanks for your comments Bob and Bryan. The mask measures approximately 26cm from the back of the base to the top (not including the horns) and is 18cm in width across the back. It's basically a wearable size. There do appear to be signs of wear to the back, in particular wear the nose of the wearer(s) would go. I also omitted in my original email to mention the goat horns which are real.
  • Posted: September 29, 2015 00:44

    Bryan Stevens

    The measurements are typical of a traditional diablo from Guerrero. I have several that are m/l the same size. The diablos from Guerrero are often black, but I have seen red ones. I like the carving on the cheeks. Guerrero is a strange source, because by now famous for a flood of decoratives, but there are good and great traditional masks from this state as well. Bryan Stevens