• Mexico

    Rare Cora mask from Mexico

    Q:  I bought this mask in Mexico while living there. Story I was told is It is used in a celebration where it is worn and then thrown in a bonfire. It is made out of paper and clay and has a small skull with horns on the forehead of this unspecified animal. I forgot which state of Mexico it comes from. I mostly collect abstract masks from Mexico, regardless of their market value.  Marco, 1359 A:  Your bonfire story is true. The Cora people are supposed to destroy there papier mache masks after the Holy Week ceremonies in the state of Nayarit of northern Mexico. Because of this tribe’s…

  • Mexico

    Info on 2334 masks

    Left of me on the header of our home page is this cute little goat mask from Guerrero. In the Chivo Dance there are two lines of dancing goats. They wear masks with horns, a headdress, or both. The masks are very colorful, like toys for children. Mexican masks are usually meant to be entertaining. This mask will now be number 1334 in the site’s archives, which are listed as “categories” on the right of each mask page. In our book, Masks of the World, by Ibold and Yohn, there are photos and descriptions of 990 masks. So when you use our book and the website, you have access to…

  • Mexico

    New mask from Michoacan

    This is a recently made Mexican mask that most collectors would want. I believe it is either a Hermit or a Moor from somewhere in the state of Michoacan. The carver is very talented so one of our visitors might be able to tell us his name and village. New masks are more affordable than used ones.

  • Mexico

    Parachico mask from Southern Mexico

    Q:  I have recently bought this mask on the internet for about 40 USD. I am pretty sure that it is an unused Parachico mask from Chiapas, Mexico. One eyelash is missing.  But I wonder about quality and age. I know nothing about Mexican masks. Can you or your visitors maybe estimate the level of quality and tell an approx age, given the style? Thanks, Chris  1382 A:  You got this for a very good price. It is new. Most of the Santeros (professional carvers) make additional Parachicos for sale to tourists. Though it could have been made recently, this has been going for over a 100 years. Barbara Mauldin…

  • Mexico

    Easter Devil mask, Guanajuato, Mexico

    Q:  I have to sell an old mask collection and need help. Please advise. I am going to send just a few right now so you can see that this collection is grand. I have to work right now and so I can get them the right size.  Darla, 1326 A: These two Diablos are used in the Pastorelo dance. You can learn more about how Easter is celebrated in the state of Guanajuato on the internet. These two masks are great. The first one has those nasty creatures crawling all over the face, which is often done by the carvers in this part of Mexico. The other features a…

  • Mexico

    Maranquilla mask for Carnaval

    This high quality mask of a woman belongs to the Ruth Lechuga collection. You can also see it on page 37 of her famous book, Mask Arts of Mexico. It is a carnival mask from Papalotla,Tlaxcala, Mexico. The maker, Enrique Mendez Juarez, is a well trained professional santero who also carves statues for churches. His masks cost more than most Mexicans can afford. Carefully carved out of wood and painted, the eyes are glass surrounded with false eyelashes.

  • Mexico

    Mexican deer mask

    Q:  I got this deer mask online where it was described as African, however I’m fairly certain it’s Mexican. The main portion is carved wood with attached ears and antlers. The antlers appear to be modified tree branches. I’d like to know your opinion.  Dan, 1304 A:  You’re right, and I think you picked out a good one. This deer mask is well made and in good condition. Deer characters show up in the dances of several different ethnic groups and locations in Mexico. You should be able to pin this down, but it might take some effort. How much did you pay for it?

  • Mexico

    Mexican Lucha Libre masks

    This website is mostly about ethnographic masks that are used in celebration and ceremony. With Lucha Libre we are talking about something much different, and quite authentic. Caveat: the masks you see here are made for sale to fans who can’t spend a lot of money. The ones worn by the wrestlers are more expensive and can withstand lots of abuse. Masked wrestling is unique to Mexico. If you get to Mexico City… CMLL runs shows every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday night in Arena Mexico. CMLL always runs shows on those days, but they don’t announce who will be wrestling on those shows more than a week in advance. The shows are inexpensive,…

  • Mexico

    History of Mexican masks

    The first photo is a rare example of a wood mask used by Aztecs or some other indigenous tribe before the Spanish arrived in what is now Mexico. The few that exist today would be 500 years old. This one could also be Mixtec, is 6 5/8 inches tall, and is decorated with turquoise, black stone, shell and mother of pearl. From the Museum of Fine Art, Boston. Then I looked for some that display the Spanish influence that starts in the 1500s. The oldest one is from Northern Guatemala and the other– Southern Mexico. If you look at lots of Mexican masks, as I have, you will see that…

  • Mexico

    Mexican clay mask? Decorative or not?

    Q:  Yet another mystery out of the same batch.  This one is large enough for a normal human face.  I’ve seen clay masks used in ceremonies before, but it’s rare.  Normally, when I see a clay mask, I assume it’s a decorative tourist mask.  In this case, I am hesitating, because it seems like it’s not really attractive enough to be a tourist mask.  Do you have any idea what it is?  Aaron, 1253 A:  I agree this will not appeal to most tourists. And don’t rule out Peru or other countries, they make a lot of terracotta masks, as well as Mexico. I have not seen one that looks…