Green devil from Guatemala

Q: Did you ever see this mask? It is a rarely seen Guatemalan mask. It represents Alwasiir, the green devil in the Baile San Jorge in Rabinal and El Diablo. He is called Murcielago in the Baile La Princesa in Coban. Both dances tell the story of St Georges. This one is probably from mid to late XXth century. Jean, 1542

A: I have not seen it before– only green devils with horns from other areas in that small country. It is indeed rare and in new condition. I suppose the dark brown stain on the rear was applied to attract a wealthy tourist who prefers masks that are old and used. It’s a nice addition to any serious collection of Guatemalan masks. A-

One Comment

  • jean

    One more thing.
    In the Christian myth of St Georges, there is a dragon. St George is frequently depicted as dragon killer. The precise role of this green devil (which looks somewhat a snake or… a dragon) in the Mayan dances is not clear to me. In both dances, St Georges is beheaded at the end of the story, in front of the “emperor”, but I do not know if the green devil is killed by St George before.

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