The famous Tigre battle helmet

Zitlala, Guerrero
Zitlala, Guerrero
Q: We happened upon this mask in a yard sale. The tag on the strap says Tigre Guerrero. We know it is a ceremonial mask. What can you tell us about this mask? Where can we find out more?

A: This is a famous style of Mexican mask that is only found in Zitlala, Guerrero. There, during the feast day of the Holy Cross all hell brakes loose when the young men from different neighborhoods put on jaguar suits (jaguars are called Tigres in Mexico), top them off with heavy-duty leather helmet masks like what you see here, arm themselves with a big stick and start beating each other up. It is indeed a wild celebration. If you appreciate Mexican masks you should add this one to your collection. There are also green ones that are worn by participants from another neighborhood. It’s hard to see what this yellow jaguar really looks like in your photo, so I added a photo from page 127 of my new book, Masks of the World, by Robert Ibold with Troy Yohn. Most other books on Mexican masks will also show and describe this famous mask.


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