History of Mexican masks

The first photo is a rare example of a wood mask used by Aztecs or some other indigenous tribe before the Spanish arrived in what is now Mexico. The few that exist today would be 500 years old. This one could also be Mixtec, is 6 5/8 inches tall, and is decorated with turquoise, black stone, shell and mother of pearl. From the Museum of Fine Art, Boston.

Then I looked for some that display the Spanish influence that starts in the 1500s. The oldest one is from Northern Guatemala and the other– Southern Mexico. If you look at lots of Mexican masks, as I have, you will see that their ancient culture has had a much greater influence on today’s styles than the Spanish. Why is that?

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