Guatemalan masks have strong traditions

traditional Guatemalan
traditional Guatemalan

Q: Thoughts on this one? Is it turn of the century Guatemalan? The original eyes likely were glass. About 1/3 of the side of the mask once fall off and was glued back on. Would adding new glass eyes add value or subtracts?  Nate, 558

A: It’s an old, used, classic Guatemalan probably from a lesser morreria, but I can’t see any initials. The break is okay. I would feel better with “middle 20th” as the approximate date. If it was of better quality I’d put the eyes back in. This one is better the way it is.

Note: Guatemala has a very strong masking tradition. Even though it is a small country, there are at least six different books published on the subject of Guatemalan masks. Also you can check out our Guatemalan section.


  • leon

    his mask represents Pedro de Alvarado, a Conquistador, and is used during the Dance of the Conquest that is performed in the Quiche region of Guatemala. In this dance, Alvarado and his soldiers battle with Tecun Uman, one of the last great Maya heroes. During the fight, the conquistador falls from a great wound inflicted by Tecun Uman, who thinks he has won and walks away, but Alvarado gets up and kills the Maya warrior before finally dying himself. The dance is accompanied by drums and whistles and the participants shout out the Quiche words of the ancient poem describing the conflict. Recently i bought to moere than 140 years old masks
    The stucco layer came out and real golddustpait, the inside was wornout to whit and the edges showed great patine. When Maximilan wanted to becom emperor of Mexico humoristic prints were made and i gues that the fusion of the beard in spanish conquista style, form legs the chin is the body below the head en the head is the mask itself above the beard, inspired by timely spitting images from publications at that time, the finess of the beards becomes more crude at a lter more recent period.
    The ears ar typical aztec inspired ears.
    Why do they have a set of extra eyeholes in their temple?

    Madrason or Leon Coray

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