• Guatemala

    Guatemalan monkey mask

    Q: From reading your previous articles I believe that this is a Guatemalan monkey mask, but that is mostly a guess. The woman who I bought this from for twenty five dollars said that it is something vintage and authentic. It does look used to me, but the paint looks newer. Thank you, Deb, 1646 A: Your mask looks like it was used for awhile and then repainted, which is something the morerias often do to keep their customers happy. The initials “LIC” may be the name of the moreria. It would be nice if you could check this out. I wrote the following on this site on July 11…

  • Guatemala

    Refurbished cowboy mask from Guatemala

    Q: Good morning Bob! In your opinion, is it a Guatemalan mask? Is it old? Is it repainted as it seems? Could you tell me something about this mask? The only things I know are those read on your site. Thank you, Monica, 1637 A: Thanks for sharing another interesting mask with us. It was probably meant to be a vaquero (cowboy) when it was originally made in the late 20th century. Then, in the early 21st, the mustache, sideburns and eyebrows changed to black. The morerias (Guatemalan costume and mask rental shops) will often clean, repair and repaint masks when they need improvement. They may also change one or…

  • Guatemala

    Early monkey mask from Guatemala

    Q: Monkeys masks are very common in Guatemala (and Mexico). They are called “Mono” or “Mico”. This later name concerns a small monkey and makes reference to the spider monkey, ubiquitous in these regions. There are used in various dances, and also in the ceremony of Palo Volador, still performed in Chichicastenango and Joyabaj in the Quiché highlands. The present mask is typical of the Palo Volador in Chichicastenango. Today there are painted with bright colors of black, red and white. The present one dates probably from the mid-XX. It has been painted black and brown. Jean, 1627 A: Jean continues to build a comprehensive collection of authentic Guatemalan masks.…

  • Guatemala

    Another Guatemalan mask

    Q: Here is a Guatemalan masks recently found, and now just coming back from the restorer. It could be a “cristiano” or “conquistador.” The style of the masks is of the Alta Verapaz region, probably from early-mid XX. There is a nice dark patina on the back. Very hard wood, and heavy. It has a thick layer of gesso and several layers of paint. Jean, 1608 A: We have a lot of masks from the small country of Guatemala in the archives of this site. Even though you can immediately recognize the country of origin, this mask is different from all the others. One can tell it is old and…

  • Guatemala

    Patzcar Patron mask from Guatemala

    Q: Taking a look at the posts concerning Guatemala on your website, I found the one from 13/01/2018 (“Repro of Patron mask from Guatemala”). Maybe you will find interesting this Patrón, a nicely carved example, not very old, dating probably from the mid-20th century and showing a nice patina on the back. Cedar hardwood. Dance Patzcar, mainly Nahualá and around (province of Sololá). Very similar to the one presented on “https://mexicandancemasks.com/?p=3895”. For details and pics about the Patzcar family of dances, see “Masks of Guatemalan Traditional Dances, Brown and Rossilli, 2008, vol 1, pg251-276. As mention there, these dances are erroneously mixed up by some authors (including Pieper in his…

  • Guatemala

    Rare torito mask from Guatemala

    Q: Torito masks are common in Guatemala. There is already several examples on your site. Most are big with ears and horns, frequently a visible tongue, actually relatively realistic. There is one dance where the toritos masks are totally different and very specific, the Patzcar dance in the province of Sololá, frequently around Nahuala. Here is a nice used example of this type, probably mid XXth (40ies). The front bell and colorful ribbons are very typical of these masks. They are very small, not exceeding 6.5 inches, much smaller than the usual toritos masks used elsewhere in Guatemala, that can measure up to 8-9 inches. 1599, Jean Obscure Find A:…

  • Guatemala

    More about Guatemalan morerias

    Q: This mask is a Guatemalan dance mask depicting the character of Pedro Alvarez. Material: brown wood with layers of paint and blue glass eyes that are fixed from the back with a hardened wax. Size: 8.9” x 6.1” (22,5 x 15,5 cm). On the front side I count 3 different layers of paint over a grounding of cream white gesso. On the back side are carved the initials AP and I have read that this is a maker’s mark (but cannot find the passage with AP again). Hanno, 1592 A: AP is the mark of Pedro Antonio Tistoj Mazariegos who had a moreria in Tetonicapan. You can see his…

  • Guatemala

    Guatemalan small mask, rare and old

    Q: This mask is rather mysterious to me, although I think it is still from Guatemala. Material: a heavy, dark brown wood with few rests of paint. The size is very small like for a child: 5.5” x 5.5” (14 x 14 cm). It shows a Spaniard with curly hairs, a thin long nose and beard. The style is severe, the painting very faded and reduced to stains, but I see traces of different layers of white (gesso?), red, blue and yellow. Small parts of the wood are chipped off like the tips of the beard, one with black wax on it, the lower lip and around the eyes. There…

  • Guatemala

    Old cowboy mask from Guatemala

    MasksoftheWorld.com has been on the internet for a long time. As the Mask Man I look at several hundred Mystery Masks every year. Most of them are poorly made “tourist masks” and they always look old and used. I answer the emails but hardly ever post them for you to see. Fakes don’t interest me much. When I saw this beautiful Vaquero on Google I wanted to share it with you. This is what an authentic old-used (Guatemalan) mask should look like. Enlarge it and check out the details. It has been repainted several times and used frequently for many years.

  • Guatemala

    Red devil from Guatemala

    Q: You already have one of these masks on your website, the male demon from Guatemala. This is what I am told the female looks like. My mom bought these around the same time I think in the late 50’s. Do you know if it is also from Guatemala? There are eye holes and a hole on the side. I included a side, front and rear picture. Pat, 1543 A: This is the second devil mask from Guatemala we received in two days. Both are of very good quality. This one has a beautiful pair of ram horns on it and is much more common. Most are made for sale…