Mexican decoratives can fool you

tourist mask
tourist mask

Q:  A friend of mine purchased this mask for me at a flea market. I believe it’s a Balinese mask but I have no idea what kind or what it represents or would be used for. I would like to find out this information if possible. Can you help?  Jack, 650

A: You have a double-faced Mexican tourist mask probably made in Guerrero. These carvers often try out new ideas. This time it was big ears and eyes somewhat like a Balinese mask. That’s why you were fooled.

Check out the decorative section at the end of our Mexico page for more interesting examples from these same carvers. They work quickly and are often sloppy, but the results are sometimes very artistic.  D

One Comment

  • Alena Cieszko

    Well now I am curious about the provenance of one of our masks. WKU has a near-identical mask in their collection, right down to the snaggleteeth on the left face. The only variation is that the right face is brick red. The owner had it marked down as having come from the Ecuadorian Andes, but it also looks Mexican in technique to me.

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