Mexican Masks: Dance, Culture, Art

Dance of the Devils Mexico Masked Dancers

Mexican mask as folk art refers to the making and use of masks for various traditional dances and ceremonies in Mexico.  Evidence of mask making there extends for thousands of years and was a well-established part of ritual life in Mexico when the Spanish arrived.

In the early colonial period, evangelists took advantage of native customs of dance and mask to teach the Catholic faith, although later, colonial authorities tried to ban both unsuccessfully.  After Independence, mask and dance traditions showed a cultural merging and mask traditions have continued to evolve into new forms, depicting Mexico's history and newer forms of popular culture such as lucha libre.

Most traditional masks are made of wood, with others made from leather, wax, cardboard, paper mache and other materials.  Common depictions in masks include Europeans (Spanish, French, hacienda owners, etc.), Afro-Mexicans, old men and women, animals, and the fantastic/supernatural, especially demons/the Devil.

Wood Mask JorgeCeramic Mask OrtegaWood Mask

We have worked with mask makers like Antonio Mejia, Jorge Sierra Morales, Bulmaro Pina Pina and Eleuterio Ortega Hernandez, to bring beautiful and amazing examples of this beautiful folk art to you.

Hanging Wood Mask MilagrosWood Mask Pina Pina