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One-eyed, black-skinned Moor from Mexico

Q:  I posted the last 2 masks from Veracruz, both Moors but in very different styles. Scans are attached f you’re interested in seeing them.  Aaron, 1218

A:  As always, thank you for sharing your recent mask acquisitions with us. It seems you are able to tract down wonderful finds in any part of the world. Couldn’t we do the same?

Try this… Just Google the indigenous people who populate the area where you are going. Also, don’t be afraid to visit some museums or read books ahead of time. The more you know, the better your results will be. Obviously, Aaron does a lot of research. Here is what he says about this one-eyed character he found in Veracruz.

COUNTRY: Mexico
SUBREGION: Veracruz
ETHNICITY: Nahua
DESCRIPTION: Moro (Moor) Mask
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Danza de los Moros y Cristianos
AGE: 1950s-1960s
MAIN MATERIAL: wood
OTHER MATERIALS: oil-based paint

The Danza de los Moros y Cristianos (Dance of the Moors and Christians) reenacts the reconquest of Spain by the Christians from the Muslim Saracens.  The story was taught by missionaries as part of an effort to instill respect for and fear of the Spaniards in the indigenous peoples, and to convince them that the victory of Christianity over other faiths—by violence whenever necessary—was inevitable.

The dance is still performed widely in Mexico, including in Mexico State, Michoacán, Puebla, and Veracruz. Important characters include Spaniards, Moors, saints, angels, and devils. This moro is unusual in having lost an eye.

Categories:   Mexico

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