• Mexico

    Decorative Day-of-the-Dead mask

    If this mask was actually used on an offering table, in a dance or ceremony, it would be considered authentic. This is often the the case with Mexican masks because the village carvers usually sell their extra masks to tourist and shop keepers. Some of you know I have long been a big fan of Mexican masks. Whether the carver is a well-trained professional or a part-timer in a country village, they like to express themselves. This guy wants to have a little fun with his quickly carved skull. The next one he makes may be quite different. But he always is expressing his feelings. Cultural traditions are often followed,…

  • Mexico

    Bearded white man mask

    Q: I AM VERY INTRIGUED WITH THIS MASK, ESTRUSC?, AFRICAN MASK REPRESENTED A WHITE MAN, LONG NOSE. We bought it at an art estate sale. Paintings were what we were looking for, a storage with good paintings and inside we found this mask as well. The former owner was a famous Cuban artist but not a mask collector. Maybe some present from friend or something to keep as decorative art. About price, I can’t say. Juan, 1699 A: I think it is probably from someplace in Mexico or Guatemala. Your idea that it might be an African tribal mask portraying a white man is also worth considering. Appearance of the…

  • Mexico

    Tourist mask from Guerrero

    Q: I found this mask and thought it was cool. Would love to learn more about it and its meaning. I do know it was made in Mexico. Any information would be appreciated. Chrystle, 1688 A: Tons of these cute masks with animals on their face are sold to tourists in Chilapa, Guerrero. They are also available in the gift shops and markets throughout the rest of the country. Most often the animal is a bat placed over the nose with its wings spread out. Many years ago these crazy looking masks were actually worn by villagers in the Danza de los Murcielagos. I saw one of those old bat…

  • Mexico

    Mexican black Devil mask

    Q: Here’s another interesting Mexican devil mask to share with your followers. I purchased it online in 2018 for approx $60. Unfortunately the seller could offer very little detail regarding which state in Mexico it was from. The wooden portion of the mask is approx 8″x 5″ with some type of animal skin (goat?) attached around the perimeter. It also has what appear to be goat fur mustache and eyebrows. The teeth and fangs are applied wood. He is a very menacing, yet dapper looking fellow. Dan, 1683 A: Dan is a very experienced collector, but even the smartest guys can occasionally be stumped. All I can do is confirm…

  • Mexico

    Useful tourist mask

    Q: I purchased this helmet in 1978 from El Changarro in Nogales, Mexico for $100. El Changarro is no longer an antiques and accessories store in Nogales, MX. As you can see, I had it made into a side table. Nancy, 1665 A: A 20-inch diameter, round glass top would look perfect on this base. Thanks for sharing your idea with us. You paid a bit too much for this Guerrero-made helmet mask back in 1978, but now you have a piece of furniture that is very cool. An interior decorator would love to buy one for $250 and charge the client a lot more! If one of our viewers…

  • Mexico,  South America

    Pre-Columbian masks & statues

    Q: My fiance just found in his 24 yr old Arizona storage unit what he termed a pre-Columbian figurine that shows the back was broken off some other clay object. He said “it’s the real deal”. It is 3-inches tall. Wondered if I send you pix if you could shed some more light on the authenticity and possible age? Pam, 1642 A: Small fired-clay masks and other sculptural fragments have been turning up at various parts of Meso-America for 100s of years. Often attractive, they can also be of archaeological interest. Eventually some of the skillful locals found they could easily replicate these artifacts and sell them to the rich…

  • Mexico

    Yaqui pascola mask, Sonora, Mexico

    This mask came from a collector who had several in an estate sale in which some (this being one) were left. There are several more various ones as well. 8 inches long (without beard) by 6 inches wide. Not sure about material, possibly wood? It’s very light. Thanks in advance! Just like to learn more about them as I am trying to sell for owner. Deb, 1625 A: The following can be found on page 115 of Mask of the World by Ibold & Yohn… Pascolas are for Easter celebrations. The Yaqui Indians celebrate all of Holy Week, however, most Roman Catholics would not recognize their rituals because they are…

  • Mexico

    Mexican diablo mask

    Q: I hardly know anything about masks, but I acquired this one recently. I feel it has a great energy. It is carved Wood with Animal Antlers (I think it use to have teeth, but they are no longer there). I believe it might be a Mexican diablo mask, but really don’t know. Any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated! Approximate Measurements: OAH – 16″ (With antlers), 9″ Width, OAD – 7″ Jen, 1621 A: This is a primitive version of the devil. I agree with you about the “energy” and would be pleased to add it to my wall of Mexican masks. It could have been…

  • Mexico

    Huave deer mask from Oaxaca, Mexico

    Q: From the lot of masks I recently bought the following one seems to me Guatemalan, but I am not sure. Material: a heavy wood and 2 pieces of fur attached to forehead and chin. In my opinion (coming from a hunter’s family) it is deer skin. The mask’s size is quite large: 14.6” x 8.3” (37 x 21 cm). The traces of paint over a white grounding are soot black, also some white and maybe traces of red (on the nose, cheeks, lips and eyebrows). The wood is very worm eaten and a part of the side rim has unfortunately broken apart, while the skin is rather hardened and…

  • Mexico

    Mexican masks are very collectible

    Here we have a wonderful mask that can be purchased for a fair price. It was made and used by the Tocotin people for the dance of the Moors and Christians in the Papantla region of Veracruz, Mexico. It is of carved wood and from the mid-20th century. The measurements are 8 1/2” h. x 7” w. x 5” d. My purpose is to help people better understand ethnographic masks and to encourage collecting this amazing folk art from around the world. I am not in the business of promoting sales any more, so you’ll have to find this vendor with the aid of Google. 1610 A