Old Huave mask from Oaxaca

Q: Just acquired this mask from a third party who travel to Oaxaca frequently. In one of the many trips, they purchased this mask. Seeking any information, confirmation (region) or opinions. The mask measures 7.5″ h 5.5″ w 4.5 d and is made of hard wood. There are some minor signs of termite damage. Louis, 832

A: The Huave people occupy a few small villages in Western Oaxaca close to the Pacific Coast of Mexico. They make a lot of unpainted wooden masks, often decorated with armadillo shell and bristles of animal hair. This one has no decoration and appears to be old and used. I like the way it looks. Often the used masks, rather than those made for sale to tourists, have more personality. Unlike most Mexican mask, Huaves are rarely painted. I know this blog has some readers who know a great deal more about Mexican masks than I do. Hopefully we will get some kind of confirmation on this one. A

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