Rare Guatemalan mask

Q: Could you give me your opinion on this mask from Guatemala? I guess it could be an Alvarado ? But I really wonder if it is “old” or just a tourist fake, artificially aged. PS… Do you think it could represent Pedro Portocarrero ?  Jean, 1384

A:  With a little more research you got it right. Pedro Portocarrero was one of the key officers in Pedro de Alvarado’s Spanish army that fought the Mayans. Portocarrero is sometimes danced in the Baile de la Conquista. We rarely see masks portraying this particular character. More importantly, we don’t see Guatemalan masks that are both old and used any more. Most of them are now in collections.  A


  • Jean

    My question here was about the possible representation of Pedro Portocarrero, not about the authenticity of the mask that seems quite evident, especially considering the multiple layers of paint and the patina. Thanks to confirm my impression.

  • Bob Ibold

    With Guatemalan masks you can’t be sure of the character because some of them are very similar. Provenance is best.

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