Old Oaxacan mask

aaaMystrySolvd-952-aQ:  Know this is a Mexican mask, but would like your thoughts on its original purpose. It is very light weight wood, has remains of gold paint and was inhabited by insects!!! Despite its condition, I really love this mask and would like your opinions on it. I bought it along with an “unusual Mexican bird masks” hat I sent you pictures of 6/11/15.  Mickey, 952

A:  Here is what it says on an old label pasted on the rear of the mask.  This Google translation doesn’t make sense to me.
Tepozitlan, District Juguila, (close to the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, Mexico)
Cargador:  con tres mas carga la mesa on que llevan al dios de los cazadores y pescadores al lugar donde lo depositan mientras que persiguen su presa.
(Charger:  three more loads on table carrying the god of hunters and fishermen to where they deposit while pursuing their prey .)aaaMystrySolvd-952-b

It’s hard to tell much about this ruined old mask. And it may not be so old, because a few years outside in the elements will do this kind of damage. That shallow hole in the mouth probably had a fake cigar in it. Hopefully one of our Mexican mask enthusiasts will have something helpful to say.


  • SD

    Hello there, with regards to the Spanish: What if the translation were ”Bearer – with three other (bearers) carries the ‘table’ on which they (the bearers) carry the (image or statue of) the god of hunters and fishermen to (the hunting ground) and deposit him there whilst they hunt.

  • Chris

    I guess the text on the paper would be complete as such: “Cargador: con tres HOMBRES/PERSONAS mas carga la mesa Con que llevan al dios de los cazadores y pescadores al lugar donde lo depositan mientras que persiguen su presa.” This would say in English the following: “The carrier carries with three more persons the table on which they carry the god of the hunters and fishermen to the place where they lay him/the god to rest while pursuing their prey.” So, in this sense the mask would embody a certain role/person who is allowed to carry around a statue of the hunters’ and fishermen’s god which would give them luck in hunting and fishing. But well, I do not know…it’s just a social anthropological interpretation of very few info 😉

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