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Attack of the powderpost beetles

aaaMystrySolvd-999You can see this same mask (before the beetles struck) on page 130 of the new book, Masks of the World, by Ibold and Yohn. It is a deer mask from Oaxaca, Mexico. This style of mask has been danced by villagers for well over a hundred years. This one is 13 inches high and made of wood, deer skin and horns. It was collected in the 1960’s.

Recently after being stored in my basement, I noticed that the dreaded beetles had been doing their nasty work on this beautiful mask! The nose area was the most damaged. So after the beetles were killed I was forced to do some repairs. You’ll be able to see what I did if you look closely at this photo.

I hope you never encounter powderpost beetles. But if you see deep little holes in the wood surface of a mask, with fine wood powder coming out, you’re in trouble !  I  immediately put the mask in my freezer for a week, take it out, and watch from then on. Occasionally they can come back and you must freeze a 2nd time. You can get more info and pictures by going to Google.

Categories:   Mexico

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