Rare Guatemalan mask

Q: It is true that the style could be confused with some primitive masks from other parts of the world. Nevertheless, it is Guatemalan, but so different from the usual designs. No big moustache or sideburns… It is a Xacalcoje, from of the dance of the Xacalcojes in Aldea Chuisuc, a small village in the province of Totonicapán (Quiché highlands). It is cedar hardwood with a beautiful patina on the back. Probably early or mid XX century. To be noted, the “muted smile” as also found on the second one presented on the page devoted to them on the site of the late Bryan Stevens: Not all Xacalcojes have this smiling face, many have a much more severe aspect. Details on this traditional dance could be found on this website as in Brown-Rossilli and Pieper’s books. Jean, 1753

A: Jean sometimes finds valuable Guatemalan masks on the internet or at auctions for very little money. That’s because he’s experienced and has a good eye. Don’t try this until you have gone to museums, read books, studied the internet and met a serious mask collector. Today, most of the masks for sale are fakes… and you might not be able to tell the difference. A

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I accept the Privacy Policy