My first mask

I bought this at a flea market in the 1970’s. Tons of them were being made in the state of Guerrero for sale to tourists and homeowners in the USA. Once when I was visiting Los Angeles I saw a truck load of them dumped on a store’s loading dock. No two were alike. The euphemistic term for these non-traditional masks is “decoratives.” In the book Masks of the World pages 133-5 are devoted to the genre. That is because these masks often exhibit great creativity, but always in colors and forms that are characteristic of Mexican culture.  I think Picasso would have loved them. C




  • Bob Ibold

    A friend reminded me that I posted this same mask 2 or 3 years ago. Sorry, I’m getting old and forgetful. But I still say that Mexican mask carvers are among the best!

  • Chris

    No problem 🙂 my first mask was a Sala Mpasu copper-plated mask which I found on the floor of a busy flea market – it almost would have got squashed. I got it for 5 dollars. At first I was puzzled, thought it to be from central Asia…research told me it was a chief’s mask from the south-western Congo Basin’s Sala Mpasu people. The mask is not antiqued but the wood shows some age (from handling, and it came with a thick layer of old dust on the inside). A traider told me it was an unused mask which could have been made 50 years ago for wearing, but was instead sold to a visitor. I love it, it is in an impeccable state, very well made and yeah, its my first mask.

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