Caiman mask from Guererro, Mexico

Q:  I would like to purchase this wooden mask, but I’m unaware of its origins. The owner has a large collection of masks, and couldn’t remember where he picked this one up. He suggested it was either Indonesian or Japanese, though it looks more like an African mask to me. The mask seems to have been made for a child.  Paul, 1371

A: This cool little Mexican decorative (tourist mask) is something I would be glad to add my collection, I think, but I wish your photos were better. You can learn more about the famous caiman mask by referring to Mexican Masks by Donald Cordry on page 200. Unlike today’s Donald, Cordry was a drunk. In the early 1970’s he purchased many fakes from vendors who had great stories to tell about their masks. None the less, I enjoy the book.

Paul, forgive me for not getting back to you more quickly. I would have told you to buy it. Most collectors do not want Mexican decoratives. Not me. I love them for their colors and attention getting designs. Of course, they should be cheap.  C

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