Realistic looking decorative

character mask
character mask

Q:  I found this mask at an estate sale in my neighborhood and was told it was Balinese but I am now wondering if it could be Mexican as I know there are traditions of Mexican ceremonies in which participants wear masks caved like old men. The mask has attached hair which feels like horse or ox hair. I would appreciate any additional knowledge you may have.  Jack, 695

A:  Jack, you’re on the right track. It is a pretty typical Mexican mask meant to represent any number of characters including that of an old man (el viejo). It would be nice if I could tell you it was used in a village dance, but it was made for sale to tourists. Those rough edges were added to make it look old. No matter– it still looks good on the wall.  C

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