Coconut mask from Puerto Rico

aaaMystrySolvd-926This is a Vejigante mask made out of a whole coconut husk in the city of Loiza, PR. (The nut has been removed from these large masks.) Many of the people who live there are of Nigerian decent. So the style of these masks is mostly influenced by the Chango warriors of West Africa, rather than the Catholic Church. There are Vegigante masks made in Ponce, PR, for the same celebration of St. James, but are made out of papier mache and look much different.

This will go in the Caribbean category, which is the smallest on This category includes all of the islands plus the northern coastal areas of South America and the east cost of Central America. All of these areas have been heavily influence by African slaves.

One Comment

  • Aaron

    I just spent carnival in Puerto Rico, and I visited Loiza while I was there. Loizans also made an appearance at the carnival in Ponce, although none of them were masked as vejigantes (unlike the ponceƱos, who were). Like Bob said, unlike most of Puerto Rico, which is predominantly mestizo, Loiza is predominantly African, and there are many, many coconut trees on that part of the island!

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