Why Mexican masks are so much fun

Guerrero Diablo
Guerrero Diablo

Q:  I am a bit embarrassed to say it, but I keep wavering on whether this mask is Guatemalan or Mexican. Thoughts? What about it strikes you as the most obvious indicator of one vs the other? (I then asked about the aluminum foil.) At first glance, I was thinking it was more than likely HVAC duct tape. Although the yellow portions make me re-think that as I cant imagine a yellow duct tape being produced for that purpose.  Nate, 780

A:  (A friend said this.)  It would appear to be a Diablo mask from the Mexican state of Guerrero. The face shows the expected patina from use, and the back of the mask demonstrates further evidence of use by a dancer. The technique of defining the teeth by a series of drilled holes has been seen in other Guerrero masks, goat horns are also typical for that state, but the town and carver are unknown. The mask has been decorated with silver paper that was probably obtained from cigarette packages.

Mexicans are full of surprises. Carvers often do what they want to. This mask is probably different from any you’ve seen before, or will see again. What do you think of it?

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