Gypsy mask from Tlaxcala

aaaMystrySolvd-951Q:  Called a Gitano, this mask is from Tlaxcala, Mexico. It is in excellent condition with mechanical eyelids and a bright blue interior. I had never seen anything like it, but my brother did some research on the Internet and found a few others which are  similar — but not in color.   Joan, 951

A:  These high-quality masks made by professional carvers in the state of Tlaxcala usually depict the Catrines (Dandies) who perform the famous rain dance at Carnival time. Note that Joan’s example has beautiful glass eyes plus moving eyelids with false eyelashes. But of course, there are other dances requiring masks for other characters. This one is a Gypsy. All of these characters are the most realistic masks made in Mexico and are very desirable as collectible folk art.  (This photo was taken up too close so it is slightly distorted as if it were a selfie.)  A

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