Mexican homemade mask

Q:  I bought this mask many years ago at a folk art store in Denver, CO, which was going out of business. They had very little info on it, except to say they thought it was called “Huasteca” and was from Mexico. I have tried to research it…to no avail. Made of very light wood and has blushing cheeks. Could you give me more details about this mask? I’d appreciate it.  Mickey, 1207

A:  Homemade masks can come from almost anywhere in Mexico, not just the Huasteca region of Hidalgo. Many Mexicans are so poor they can’t afford to buy from a local mask maker. Some of these amateurs are pretty good and their carving may resemble the style of a particular region or village. Other homemade masks, like this one, are so primitive they could come from anywhere. Happily, these crude attempts at carving are often very creative.  I have always believed that the artistic gene is more prevalent in Mexicans than any other culture.  B+

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