• Mexico

    Death mask of Pakal the Great

    Q: Have you seen this? Thought you might enjoy it. Death Mask of Pakal the Great The striking jade death mask of an ancient Mayan king is displayed in a replica tomb in Mexico City. http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/death-mask-of-pakal-the-great?utm_source=share_by_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mailto_share Derek, 1538 A: When I was studying at Mexico City University in 1956 I took some time off and went to the recently discovered ruins of Palenque in the jungles of Yucatan. It was difficult to reach, and because it was a Mexican holiday, there were no workmen there. My traveling companion and I climbed to the top of the pyramid, cranked up the generator, plugged in a string of lights and did some…

  • Mexico

    The infamous Barbones mask from Mexico

    Q: Can anyone give me any meaning of this mask? How could it have been used? Jan, 1535 A: They started making these stunning masks out of silver in the mining town of La Parota, Guerrero, way back in the Victorian period. Well over 100 years ago wealthy gringos were vacationing in Mexico and they loved these hammered-metal masks as decorative souvenirs. Later they switched from silver to the cheaper copper you see here, and they are still popular to this day. The first edition of Donald Cordry’s Mexican Masks came out in 1980 and became a big seller that created a great interest in this subject. Cordry loved masks…

  • Mexico

    Reproduction of pre-Columbian Mexican mask

    Q:  I know very little about this mask. I took it, along with quite a few similar items, from a house my friends bought from an elderly lady being moved into a nursing home. She had no family, so we had the task of cleaning out the house. This mask is 8″ high and 7″ wide. Most of the other decorative items I collected seem to be from the American Southwest. One statue that looks to be from South America has a very old price tag that says $90, and it seems the most similar to this mask, so I thought maybe the mask would have some value. Even if…

  • Mexico

    Pre-Columbian Mexican mask?

    Q:  I have another mystery for you.  This mask was among a group of genuine 1970s dance masks from Mexico. My initial reaction was “tourist mask,” but the more I examined it, the more convinced I became that it’s authentic. The trouble is, I’ve never seen anything like it.  I can’t place the region of Mexico or the type of dance.  Do you have any ideas?  Aaron, 1484 A:  When Aaron < https://www.maskmuseum.org/> sends me an unusual mask it is always a challenge! But before I talk about his mask, take a look at the next mask that is supposed to be from Teotihuacan. “Although it is a subject of…

  • Mexico

    6 Mexican Devil masks

    In my opinion African masks are the most artistic, Japanese the best made, and Mexican the most creative. These 6 Devil masks are all original, and there are hundreds of other Diablos much different from each other as well. Geography and ethnicity both have something to do with this incredible diversity, but I also think Mexicans are more right-brained than the rest of us. Most mask collectors specialize in continents, countries or cultures. Please feel free to argue with me in a comment.  

  • Mexico

    Authentic Mexican masks, fakes & decoratives

    The first mask is called a Parachico and is an authentic Mexican dance mask in the collection of Bryan Stevens who has www.mexicandancemasks.com. Here’s what he has written. “The Parachicos dance is most famously performed in the town of Chiapa de Corzo in the Mexican state of Chiapas. It is said to honor three Catholic saints—Saint Anthony, Our Lord of Esquipulas, and Saint Sabastian. The costumed dancers wear wooden masks with bearded Caucasian faces, they carry handmade tin maracas that are painted silver, and on their heads are headdresses made of woven ixtle (or istle), a fiber obtained from the agave or yucca plant. Their headdresses are decorated with colored…

  • Mexico

    Decorative fish mask from Mexico

    Q:  Would love your perspective on “Fish Man,” who joined our family’s collection of Guerrero, Mexico dance masks awhile back. How common are these full trajes and might you know the specific folklore behind this particular character?  Ashley, 1467 A:  The state of Guerrero has about 4 million people, most of whom are indigenous. They all have rich cultures that include many different masked dances. The state also has a large tourist industry which has always made masks for the trade. These decorative masks are very popular in Acapulco and the rest of the world. Most are okay as souvenirs, and a few can be very creative. Yours is the…

  • Mexico

    Mexican day of the dead mask

    A dealer says “These high quality clay skulls are a representation of the traditional sugar skulls, which are part of the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Mexican Holiday. They are made of clay and hand painted by the indigenous people in Mexico. These are truly unique clay skulls and they make a great addition to any collection.” They are more often made of paper mache and can be worn as masks. The celebration of Day of the Dead is practiced by most Mexicans. Millions are made each year and they are always artistic, whether complete skulls or masks. In our category called Miscellaneous we show a number…

  • Mexico

    New Parachico mask from Mexico

    Q:  Actually I have 100 Mexican masks.  A few also from Africa and Sri Lanka, but my main concern is the Mexican Collection.  They are all authentic dance masks I purchased from a collector in Mexico, so I know they are real, historic, danced in masks.  I can send a bit of info for each such as origin, character and dance plus a photo.  What would the cost be to give me an appraisal for each?  Michelle, 1447 A:  Michelle is asking for an appraisal estimate on high quality masks. I picked out this Parachico to share with my viewers what quality can mean. This one is new, but age…

  • Mexico

    What kind of mask is this?

    Q:  How much is an appraisal? I have a very large carving of what I believe is an antique Mexican Conquistador with blue glass eyes. I have spent over 5 hours online and haven’t found anything like it. So, time to turn to the experts. Thank you.  Laurie, 1436 A:  I asked her to send me some pictures. She did. The first bearded mask is the one she wants to buy. She also sent pics of other masks in the same collection. That is the second photo which shows 11 antiqued decoratives probably from Guerrero. The mask she wanted looked more like a fake Barbone (bearded guy} or possibly an…