Wish I knew more about this Mexican

Huave Indians, Oaxaca

Q: Sticker says Oaxaca, but the Oaxacan masks I have seen are very brightly colored.  It also has three strips of what appears to be embossed snake skin.  Stephanie, 527

A:  I’ve seen masks like this before, but don’t know for sure that they come from Oaxaca. The skin on the top is from an armadillo. Consider it to be a decorative (tourist mask). Wish I knew more.  C+

Thanks to a viewer comment we know this is from the Huave Indians in the Tehuantepec region of Oaxaca. B+


  • kevin

    The Huave Indians in the Tehuantepec region of Oaxaca wear masks like this during Carnival dances to scare away spirits so spring will come sooner. They are usually adorned with armadillo skin, and wild boar skin or goat fur. There is a nice example of one in the airport in Oaxaca and another nice display in the museum in the exconvent Santo Domingo.

    • Bob Ibold

      That’s very helpful. We know now that these unusual masks have some cultural authenticity. Let’s change the rating of this particular one to B+. Actually, it is better looking than the other Huave masks I have seen.

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