TITLE: Boteiro
TYPE: helmet mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Spain
SUBREGION: Galicia
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Boteiro Mask with Pantalla
MAKER: Javier Martínez González, Santa Mariña de Froxais, Viana do Bolo (1983- )
CEREMONY: Entroido (Carnival)
AGE: 2008
MAIN MATERIAL: hardwood (mask); iron rods (pantalla)
OTHER MATERIALS: lacquer; red deer antlers; cardboard; dyed paper; leather straps; hardware; foam rubber padding; adhesive; dyed satin ribbons

The Entroido (Carnival) of Spain’s Galicia province has a tremendous diversity of celebration styles that vary from town to town. In the region of Viana do Bolo, the celebration begins with a parade of folións, marching bands playing primarily the bombo drum and other percussion. The folións are surrounded by boteiros, masqueraders with colorful costumes and poles, who charge through the crowd to make way for the musicians and vault high on their poles in a display of athletic skills. Each village around Viana do Bolo contributes a team of musicians and masqueraders, and most villages have their own unique style of mask.

In Santa Mariña de Froxais, whence this mask comes, the boteiros typically wear handmade wooden masks, lacquered but otherwise left their natural color, and a very large superstructure (pantalla) attached to the top of the mask made of heavy iron, covered with cardboard and colorful paper. The masks may weigh as much as 30 pounds (14 kg). The ability to run, jump, and vault while wearing the mask demonstrates the masquerader’s strength and athletic prowess.

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TITLE: Boteiro
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Spain
SUBREGION: Galicia
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Boteiro Mask
MAKER: Modesto García Yañez (Penouta, Viana do Bolo, 1978- )
CEREMONY: Entroido (Carnival)
AGE: 2018
MAIN MATERIAL: hardwood
OTHER MATERIALS: enamel paint

The Entroido (Carnival) of Spain’s Galicia province has a tremendous diversity of celebration styles that vary from town to town. In the region of Viana do Bolo, the celebration begins with a parade of folións, marching bands playing primarily the bombo drum and other percussion. The folións are surrounded by boteiros, masqueraders with colorful costumes and poles, who charge through the crowd to make way for the musicians and vault high on their poles in a display of athletic skills. Each village around Viana do Bolo contributes a team of musicians and masqueraders, and most villages have their own unique style of mask.

In Penouta, whence this mask comes, the boteiros typically wear glossy black masks with ferocious smiles, and a very large superstructure (pantalla) attached to the top of the mask made of heavy iron, covered with cardboard and colorful paper. The masks may weigh as much as 30 pounds (14 kg). The ability to run, jump, and vault while wearing the mask demonstrates the masquerader’s strength and athletic prowess.

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TITLE: Bull Mask
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Spain
SUBREGION: Barcelona, Catalonia
ETHNICITY: Catalan
DESCRIPTION: Toro (Bull) Mask
MAKER: Augusto Duch, Barcelona
CEREMONY: Carnival
AGE: 2012
MAIN MATERIAL: paper maché
OTHER MATERIALS: paint; ribbons; wire mesh

Carnival is celebrated throughout Catholic Europe with parades and other festivities, often including masqueraders. For centuries, Spaniards venerated the ritual of bullfighting, inherited from Roman gladiator contests, and it is still practiced in parts of Spain. Although several regions, including Catalonia since 2012, has banned it as unnecessary cruelty to animals. Nonetheless, the symbol of the bull survives as part of Spanish culture and tradition. The bull is consequently a popular character in Spanish Carnival due to its association with virility and strength.

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TITLE: Cigarrón
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Spain
SUBREGION: Galicia
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Cigarrón (Cigarette) Mask
MAKER: Álvaro Ferreira Diéguez (Verín, 1966- )
CEREMONY: Entroido (Carnival)
AGE: 1993
MAIN MATERIAL: wood; brass sheet
OTHER MATERIALS: leather; oil-based paint; dyed cotton yarn; waxed thread; foam rubber; rabbit pelt; animal pelt; hardware; horsehair

The Entroido (Carnival) of Spain’s Galicia province has a tremendous diversity of celebration styles that vary from town to town. In the region of Verín, the celebration begins with a “baptism” of characters known as Cigarrones (literally, cigarettes). Cigarrones wear fancy and intricate costumes of velvet jackets, tasseled short pants, laced hose, an embroidered scarf (pañoleta), and a belt with large brass or copper cowbells (chocallos). The mask is made of wood, padded with leather and lined with rabbit fur. Attached to the top is a metal screen in the shape of a bishop’s miter (mitra), painted with a totemic animal or scene, decorated with tassels (pondones) and lined in the back with leather, animal fur, and hair from a horse’s tail. The Cigarrón carries a leather whip (zamarra) with a long, carved wood handle to lash any member of the crowd who fails to move out of the way of the parade. Although Entroido in Verín includes crowds of celebrants throwing flour or talc at each other (a symbolic fertility rite), the Cigarrón is considered untouchable and must be avoided and treated with respect throughout the Entroido.

This mask was used by the maker, Álvaro Diéguez, for twenty-four years in the Carnival of Verín. The falcon on the mitra is a symbol of ferocity and agility.

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TITLE: Correfoc Diable
TYPE: mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Spain
SUBREGION: Barcelona, Catalonia
ETHNICITY: Catalan
DESCRIPTION: Diable (Devil) Mask
MAKER: Augusto Duch, Barcelona
CEREMONY: Correfoc (Festes de Mercè)
AGE: 2012
MAIN MATERIAL: paper maché
OTHER MATERIALS: paint; ribbons

Correfoc (“fire run”) is a Catholic ritual parade performed during the Festes de Mercè (Festival of Our Lady of Mercy) in Barcelona every September. Correfoc, one among the many events of the Mercè, is traditionally celebrated by posting a large sculpture representing the gates of Hell at the end of a major street after sunset, through which the Diable (Devil) enters shooting sparks from his pitchfork, along with an army of lesser devils doing the same. The flying sparks create a spectacle that is entrancing, but slightly perilous to the nearby crowd. Accompanying the devil army are fiberglass floats of hellish monsters with spark-throwers of their own. The event is undoubtedly calculated to instill a fear of Hell in the spectators.

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TITLE: Danzante Mask and Tambourine
TYPE: face mask; accessory
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Spain
SUBREGION: Castile-La Mancha
ETHNICITY: Spanish (Iberian)
DESCRIPTION: Danzante Mask and Tambourine
MAKER (Mask): Julio Naranjo Palomo (Camuñas, Spain, 1941- )
MAKER (Tambourine): Ángel Cano Santa Cruz (Camuñas, Spain, 1945- )
CEREMONY: Corpus Christi
FUNCTION: Adult Initiation; Celebration; Secret Society
AGE: 2022
MAIN MATERIAL (Mask): paper maché
OTHER MATERIALS (Mask): cork nose; adhesive; paint; elastic strap
MATERIALS (Tambourine): Alla wood; brass cymbals; leather; brass wire; adhesive; brass hardware; dyed cloth

The Corpus Christi celebration of Camuñas, Spain, embodies a tradition hundreds of years old. The celebration is organized by fraternities (hermandades) of “Dancers” (Danzantes) and “Sins” (Pecados). In its broadest sense, the tradition represents a drama of redemption, the triumph of divine grace over sin. The celebration begins with the Danzantes parading through the streets of Camuñas with masks off, jingling tambourines and playing a drum and a unique percussion wood block called la porra. Leading the group is a Capitán carrying a short spear decorated with ribbons. Accompanying them are a standard-bearer with the fraternity’s symbols and a (male) dancer wearing women’s clothes, playing castanets, and wearing a unique mask called the Madama. The Danzantes follow a predetermined, decorated path through town, stopping periodically for refreshments at the homes of the group’s leaders. The leaders after the capitán, in order of seniority, are the Mayor (Alcalde), Elder Jew (Judío Mayor), and the Twine (Cordel).

The Danzantes finally make their way to the headquarters of the Pecados, who greet them in a double file wearing their horned masks. The Pecados carry a decorated staff (la vara) and are organized hierarchically into the senior authority, the Little Sin (Pecailla, or Pecadilla), the Belt (Correa), the Elder Sin (Pecado Mayor), and the Alternate Belt (Suplente Correa). Also included are initiates (novicios).  The Pecailla and Pecado Mayor each have a unique mask, which, together with the common Danzantes, Pecados, and Madama, makes five types of mask used in the celebration.

After enjoying refreshments again, the Danzantes and Pecados parade together across town toward the curate’s house, where they are joined by women in traditional Spanish dress who, with the standard-bearer and a cross-bearer, accompany the curate. The Danzantes form a double line down the street, and the pecados one by one run up the street toward the curate with their masks on, jumping at the end and kneeling before him. They then remove their masks and receive a blessing from the curate.

On the day of Corpus Christi, the same procedure is followed, but afterward the Danzantes and Pecados parade to the church. The Danzantes alone enter the church and parade through the nave, after which they form a double line in the church plaza outside, between the town clock tower and an altar and reliquary at the rear of the church. They all kneel before the altar, then the Danzantes dance, during which the Pecados individually charge toward the altar, leaping and kneeling before the reliquary and removing their mask. The group then continues to parade together through town, performing one last series of charges toward the curate and returning to their fraternity headquarters.

On the day after Corpus Christi, the initiates are dressed in rags and taken to the town windmill in a straw-covered cart, which is symbolically burned while the initiates are symbolically hung using a safety harness in a ritual called La Horca (The Gallows). La Horca is a form of initiation into the fraternities. The townspeople celebrate the intiation with water fights, and traditionally the hung initiate is thoroughly doused with water, somewhat reminiscent of the way Catholic priests convey blessings or baptism by spraying holy water with an aspergillum.

This mask was donated to the Museum through the generosity of the City of Camuñas and its Centro de Interpretación Danzantes y Pecados.


Click here to watch a short documentary on the Corpus Christi celebration of Camuñas, Spain.

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TITLE: Jarramplas Mask
TYPE: helmet mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Spain
SUBREGION: Extremadura
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Jarramplas Mask
MAKER: Marcos Calle Vicente, Piornal (1972- )
CEREMONY: Fiesta de San Sebastián
AGE: 2002
MAIN MATERIAL: fiberglass
OTHER MATERIALS: metal hardware; steel mesh; oil-based paint; horsehair; fiberboard; foam rubber; adhesive

Jarramplas is an annual festival held primarily in the mountain town of Piornal in Extremadura, Spain, during the Festival of St. Sebastian (January 19 & 20). The tradition begins with a man dressed as a devil in heavy armor playing a small drum while running along the town streets. Inhabitants of the town chase him until they corner him, surround him, and continually pelt him with large, heavy turnips. Meanwhile, he continues to play the drum until midnight, being pelted viciously all the while. The Festival ends with a High Mass and an invitation to the celebrated Jarramplas to come to eat migas (a dish made of bread crumbs, pork ribs or sausage, spinach, and seasonings) at the local prefect’s house.

The origins of this ancient are contested. Some believe the Jarramplas represents a cattle thief getting his due but ultimately reforming at the hands of the religious authorities. Others think he represents St. Sebastian himself, who was reputedly shot full of arrows, for which the turnips are symbolic.

Because the turnips are sizable and thrown vigorously, the Jarramplas has always worn an armored costume. Originally, masks were made of wood, but for many years they have been constructed from hard fiberglass and fiberboard, and padded internally with foam rubber. The helmet is physically fitted to the armored suit, composed of iron rods and fiberglass, and covered with multicolored rags. There are usually only one or two dedicated Jarramplas masqueraders during each festival.

This mask was graciously donated to the Museum by the maker, Marcos Calle Vicente, and the Township of Piornal, with special thanks to Ms. Clara Calle.

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TITLE: Nazarene (Penitent) Mask and Robes
TYPE: face mask; costume
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Spain
SUBREGION: Andalusia
ETHNICITY: Spanish (Iberian)
DESCRIPTION: Mask and Costume of Córdoban Nazareno (Penitente)
MAKER: Juan Carlo Vizcaíno Peralbo (Córdoba, 1979- )
CEREMONY: Holy Week
FUNCTION: Celebration; Secret Society
AGE: 2022
MAIN MATERIAL: “sarga de targál” (cotton-polyester blend cloth)
OTHER MATERIALS: velvet; stitching; rayon belt; cardboard and cotton cloth cone

The Nazarenos (Nazarenes), also called Penitentes (Penitents) are members of fraternities (cofradías) who participate in processions during the Catholic holiday period known as Holy Week in various parts of Spain, especially Andalusia. The robes are designed to preserve the anonymity of the penitent, and the cone-shaped hood, called a capirote, suggests a rising of the penitent toward heaven, or it may be used to redirect attention from the penitent upward, where Catholics believe their god is located. On the chest is a symbol of the cofradía. During Holy Week, the Nazarenos parade daily from the local cathedral or church around a designated route, preceding a paso (a table carried by costaleros and displaying a scene from the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth or an image of his mother Mary). The Nazarenos may carry large candles, a scepter, or an item of religious significance.

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TITLE: Pantalla
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Spain
SUBREGION: Galicia
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Pantalla (Screen) Mask
MAKER: Celso Lorenzo Otero (Xinzo de Limia, 1956- )
CEREMONY: Entroido (Carnival)
AGE: 2014
MAIN MATERIAL: paper maché
OTHER MATERIALS: cardboard; felt; foam rubber; acrylic paint; polyester cloth; synthetic fringe; stitching

The Entroido (Carnival) of Spain’s Galicia province has a tremendous diversity of celebration styles that vary from town to town. In Xinzo de Limia, the main Carnival character is the Pantalla (Screen), which refers to the painted screens atop the helmet masks they wear. These screens are decorated with astral motifs or totemic animals. The Pantalla wears a costume consisting of a white shirt, black pants, a red or black cape, a red scarf, and black shoes, with a red belt holding cowbells. The Pantalla also carries two or more inflated, dried cattle bladders attached to strings, which the Pantalla uses to bang together while jumping and grunting to scare strangers and women.

The Pantalla‘s role is to ensure that nobody walks into the town square or surrounding streets without a disguise. Anyone without a disguise is forced to buy the Pantallas a round of wine, if necessary by abduction to the nearest bar.

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TITLE: Pantalla
TYPE: helmet mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Spain
SUBREGION: Galicia
ETHNICITY: Iberian
DESCRIPTION: Pantalla (Screen) Mask
MAKER: Juan Antioquia (Xinzo de Limia, 1964- )
CEREMONY: Entroido (Carnival)
AGE: 2015
MAIN MATERIAL: paper maché
OTHER MATERIALS: cardboard; felt; foam rubber; acrylic paint; polyester cloth; synthetic fringe; stitching

The Entroido (Carnival) of Spain’s Galicia province has a tremendous diversity of celebration styles that vary from town to town. In Xinzo de Limia, the main Carnival character is the Pantalla (Screen), which refers to the painted screens atop the helmet masks they wear. These screens are decorated with astral motifs or totemic animals. The Pantalla wears a costume consisting of a white shirt, black pants, a red or black cape, a red scarf, and black shoes, with a red belt holding cowbells. The Pantalla also carries two or more inflated, dried cattle bladders attached to strings, which the Pantalla uses to bang together while jumping and grunting to scare strangers and women.

The Pantalla‘s role is to ensure that nobody walks into the town square or surrounding streets without a disguise. Anyone without a disguise is forced to buy the Pantallas a round of wine, if necessary by abduction to the nearest bar.

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