Red Moor mask, E. Central Mexico

Though faded and dirty, this colorful red Moor mask is a classic. It could be over a 100 years old, or a very well made replica.  Moor masks can also be painted gray, brown or black. The Dance of the Moors and Christians is an important celebration in the states of Veracruz, Hidalgo, Talaxcala and Puebla. The dance arose from the teachings of missionaries as part of an effort to instill respect for and fear of the Spaniards in the indigenous peoples, and to convince them that the victory of Christianity over other faiths—by violence whenever necessary—was inevitable.

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