TITLE: Chonguino Mask
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Peru
SUBREGION: Jauja
ETHNICITY: Quechua; Aymara
DESCRIPTION: Chonguino or Español (Spaniard) Mask
CATALOG ID: LAPE033
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Tunantada (Fiesta de San Sebastián y San Fabián)
AGE: ca. 1980s
MAIN MATERIAL: wire mesh
OTHER MATERIALS: hair; oil paint; copper

The Tunantada dance is a major event during the Fiesta de San Sebastián y San Fabián, patron saints of the city of Jauja, as well as other parts of Peru, including Huaripampa, Mantaro Valley, Yanamarca Valley. In the dance, held every January, participants dress in elaborate European costumes and wear wire mesh masks to imitate and satirize Spaniards (called chonguinos or españoles). Dancers are accompanied by music from a diverse orchestra. Characters include Spaniards, a prince, muleteers, an Indian women who becomes the lover of the Spaniards (the chupaquina or huanquita) and Indians called chutos and huatrilas.

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TITLE: Jukumari Mask
TYPE: helmet mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Bolivia
SUBREGION: Oruro
ETHNICITY: Quechua and Aymara
DESCRIPTION: Jukumari (bear) mask
CATALOG ID: LABO029
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Carnival (La Diablada)
AGE: ca. 1960s
MAIN MATERIAL: felt covered with plaster
OTHER MATERIALS: paper maché ears; alpaca fur; glass lightbulbs; human hair; paint

The Diablada is an important part of Carnival in several towns in the Altiplano region of Bolivia, Peru, and northern Chile.  The Diablada of Oruro, Bolivia, is famous for the large numbers of participants and the elaborateness of their masks and costumes.

The dance dates back to pre-colonial times and was adapted under the influence of the Spanish missionaries to conform to the Catholic doctrine of the struggle between good and evil.  The dance begins with the Archangel Michael commanding personified seven virtues against Lucifer and his personified seven deadly sins and an army of male and female devils.  Other non-European characters, such as the Andean Condor and the bear, also play a role.  The dance typically occurs in the course of the parade, with marching bands playing musical scores dating back to the 17th century.

This mask represents the bear, or jukumari, and dates to the 1960s. It was made by the then-usual technique of putting felt or linen cloth over a fired clay mold, then applying plaster and letting it set. Lightbulbs were painted and used for eyes, and alpaca fur gives the bear a realistic look.

For more on Bolivian masquerade, see Peter McFarren ed., Masks of the Bolivian Andes (La Paz: Editorial Quipus/Banco Mercantil SA, 1993).

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TITLE: Archangel Michael
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Bolivia
SUBREGION: Oruro
ETHNICITY: Quechua and Aymara
DESCRIPTION: Archangel Michael Mask
CATALOG ID: LABO025
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Carnival (La Diablada)
AGE: 1980s
MAIN MATERIAL: tin sheet
OTHER MATERIALS: polyester fibers; paint

The Diablada (Dance of the Devils) is an annual ceremony in several towns in the Altiplano region of Bolivia, Peru, and northern Chile, usually incorporated into Carnival.  The dance includes both male and female devils dancing in a group led by the Archangel Michael.

This mask represents the angel, made from recycled tin, spray painted and hand finished. While the mask is usually painted flesh-colored, sometimes it is left silver to highlight the inhuman divinity of the angel. The angel character usually wears helmet and carries a sword and shield.

For more on Bolivian masquerade, see Peter McFarren ed., Masks of the Bolivian Andes (La Paz: Editorial Quipus/Banco Mercantil SA, 1993).

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TITLE: Diablesa Mask
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Bolivia
SUBREGION: Oruro
ETHNICITY: Quechua and Aymara
DESCRIPTION: Diablesa (female devil) mask
CATALOG ID: LABO006
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Carnival (La Diablada)
AGE: 1970s
MAIN MATERIAL: tin sheet
OTHER MATERIALS: paint; polyester fibers; foam rubber

The Diablada (Dance of the Devils) is an annual ceremony in several towns in the Altiplano region of Bolivia, Peru, and northern Chile, usually incorporated into Carnival.  The dance includes both male and female devils dancing in a group led by the Archangel Michael.

This mask represents a diablesa (female devil), made from recycled tin, spray painted and hand finished. The costume of the diablesa in Oruro is usually elaborately decorated and somewhat revealing, although the character may be danced by a man or a woman.

For more on Bolivian masquerade, see Peter McFarren ed., Masks of the Bolivian Andes (La Paz: Editorial Quipus/Banco Mercantil SA, 1993).

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TITLE: Waq’ollo Mask for Alcalde
TYPE: hood mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Peru
ETHNICITY: Quechua
DESCRIPTION: White llama wool Waq’ollo for Alcalde (Mayor) of the Qhapaq Q’olla
CATALOG ID: LAPE001
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Qoyllur Rit’i; Corpus Christi
AGE: 1940s
MAIN MATERIAL: dyed and knitted lama wool
OTHER MATERIALS: N/A

In the Altiplano of Bolivia and Peru, the Quechua and Aymara descendants of the Incans still celebrate Qoyllur Rit’i, the Snow Star Festival in late May or early June to hale the reappearance of the Pleiades constellation and the harvest. Although the Catholic Church has attempted to co-opt the event, it maintains its essentially pre-Spanish conquest character.  Pilgrims from around Peru assemble in the Sinakara Valley in various costumes to dance in celebration. The Qhapaq Q’olla (“mighty Indian”) is one such character, dancing in the waq’ollo mask shown here with a hat, woven sling and a dried vicuña skin. Supposedly they represent a merchant who is half human and half llama, and who brings goods to the Cusco region for sale from the jungle and Paucartambo region, such as pisco liquor. Their roles are primarily that of clown, but they also dance and sing to the Virgin of Paucartambo. They sometimes wear a square flat hat called an aqarapi, and dance in a group.  The group is composed of a Mayor (alcalde), who carries a wooden staff of authority and a black crucifix on his mask, as here; and his wife (la Imilla); a child (q’ollita); two captains; a llama herder (llamero), who wanders into the crowd to pretend to sell his goods; and a group of q’ollas dancing in two rows.  The imilla has a face covered by a black veil.  Qhapaq Q’olla also dance at Corpus Christi parades in Cusco and other religious celebrations.

The q’ollas, aligned according to their age, dance together, led by the captains. Sometimes children called chanako accompany them as well. The musical ensemble that accompanies them consists of a violin, an accordion, a bass drum and several Quena performers.  The q’ollas are always men born in Paucartambo. The costume consists of a flat, rectangular hat (aqarapi) decorated with sequins, old coins or beads; the waq’ollo; a lliclla skin made of vicuña wool, and the qepi that contains a young dead vicuña.  the dance, the collas sing Quechua songs about their commercial activity, their journey to Cusco, and their protective saints.


Click above to watch a short documentary on Corpus Christi in Cusco, Peru.

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TITLE: Tío Supay
TYPE: helmet mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Bolivia
SUBREGION: Oruro
ETHNICITY: Quechua and Aymara
DESCRIPTION: Tío Supay (Uncle Supay) Mask
CATALOG ID: LABO013
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Carnival
AGE: 1970s
MAIN MATERIAL: tin sheet
OTHER MATERIALS: glitter; dyed plant fiber; oil paint; foam rubber; LED lights and wiring

The Tío Supay (Uncle Supay) is the Incan god of death, whose worship predates the Spanish conquest. Incans and their descendants, the Quechua and Aymara peoples, prayed and made offerings to Supay to propitiate him. In most mines in the Bolivian and Peruvian Altoplano, a figure of Tío Supay would be seated deep in the shaft, and cigars, cigarettes, alcohol, food, and other offerings are left for him to protect the miners.

The Catholic colonizers objected to Supay, viewing the offerings as Devil worship, and so Supay came to be identified with the Christian Satan. His appearance morphed to resemble the Catholic Devil myth, and he plays the role of a demon opposed to the Archangel Michael in the Carnival parades of Oruro. Nonetheless, the worship of Supay continues, and most Aymara people deny any connection between Supay and the Catholic Devil.

This specific mask was made in the 1970s by a caretero (mask maker) in the Calle de los Andes, La Paz for use in the Oruro Carnival. Later, LED lights were added to the eyes with silicon glue in the 2000s to make the mask light up at night.

For more on Bolivian masquerade, see Peter McFarren ed., Masks of the Bolivian Andes (La Paz: Editorial Quipus/Banco Mercantil SA, 1993).

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TITLE: Diablo Mask
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Peru
SUBREGION: Puno
ETHNICITY: Quechua; Aymara
DESCRIPTION: Diablo (Devil) Mask
CATALOG ID: LAPE026
MAKER: Unknown maker in Puno
CEREMONY: Carnival (Diablada)
AGE: 1970s
MAIN MATERIAL: recycled metal gas can
OTHER MATERIALS: oil-based paint

The Diablada of Peru is a Carnival parade of dancing devils similar to ones held in Bolivia and northern Chile.  The dance represents the forces of evil struggling with the forces of good, represented by the Archangel Michael.  There is probably some connection between the diablos (devils) and the Tío Supay, the traditional god/demon of the underworld in pre-Christian Altiplano culture.

This specific mask was made in the 1970s in Puno, or possibly Cuzco, and used in Puno for many years.

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TITLE: Achachi Mask
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Bolivia
SUBREGION: Oruro
ETHNICITY: Quechua and Aymara
DESCRIPTION: Achachi (Old Foreman) Mask
CATALOG ID: LABO007
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Carnival (La Diablada)
AGE: 1970s
MAIN MATERIAL: linen covered with plaster
OTHER MATERIALS: plant fibers; mirrors; polyester fringe; oil-based paint

The Morenada (Dance of the Moors) is an annual ceremony in several towns in the Altiplano region of Bolivia, Peru, and northern Chile, usually incorporated into Carnival.  The dance includes both male and female Moors dancing in a group with whips, rattles, or scepters. A King of the Moors (Rey de Morenos) presides and coordinates the dance. The dance typically occurs in the course of a parade, with marching bands playing musical scores for the dancers.  The precise origins of the Morenada are the subject of debate, with most specialists concluding that the dance was inspired by African slaves brought to Bolivia to work the mines or the subsequent integration of Africans into the Yungas community near La Paz.  The morena wears a fancy version of the traditional Bolivian costume with the classic bowler hat.

This mask represents an achachi, an old, bald man who previously worked as a captain or slave-driver under a colonial landowner.  The achachi may be represented as a black or white man (as here), but in either case he has a long, aquiline nose, bushy beard, cruel expression, and elaborate costume.  The mirror teeth exaggerate his prosperity as a lackey to the colonizers.

This specific mask was fashioned by a skilled mask-maker (caretero) in Oruro in the 1970s. At this time, mask makers were still frequently using linen soaked in plaster for their masks and hand painting them from start to finish.

For more on Bolivian masquerade, see Peter McFarren ed., Masks of the Bolivian Andes (La Paz: Editorial Quipus/Banco Mercantil SA, 1993).

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TITLE: Aya Huma
TYPE: hood mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Ecuador
SUBREGION: Tabacundo
ETHNICITY: Quechua
DESCRIPTION: Black Aya Huma (Diablo Umo) mask
CATALOG ID: LAEC005
MAKER: Unknown maker in Tabacundo
CEREMONY: Inti Raymi
AGE: early 1970s
MAIN MATERIAL: dyed felt cloth
OTHER MATERIALS: dyed thread; cotton wadding

In Ecuador and Peru, the winter solstice is sometimes still celebrated by honoring the Incan sun god, Inti.  Some mistakenly consider this a summer solstice ceremony, apparently forgetting that, except in Colombia and the northern tip of Ecuador, the Andes are south of the Equator.   Inti Raymi takes place annually on June 24 and recreates the Incan ceremonies of the period.

Among the regalia worn during the celebration is the Aya Huma mask and suit, sometimes known as Diablo Umo. The Aya Huma carries a whip to drive away evil spirits during the ceremony. His mask is double-sided so that he cannot be surprised by evil spirits from behind. The rather symmetrical ears and noses represent the four cardinal points.  Although traditionally representing a protector spirit, Catholic zealots among the colonizers branded the masquerader satanic, whence comes the name Diablo Umo (Devil Head).

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TITLE: Chuto Mask
TYPE: hood mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Peru
SUBREGION: Jauja
ETHNICITY: Quechua
DESCRIPTION: Chuto mask
CATALOG ID: LAPE021
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Tunantada; Chonginada
AGE: 1979
MAIN MATERIAL: leather
OTHER MATERIALS: wool; glass eyes; pigment

The Tunantada is a dance performed in the Jauja region of Peru during the January Festival of San Sebatián and San Fabián, patron saints of the town. Dancers in wire mesh masks represent the Spaniards, who oppress the chutos, or Amerindians.  The dance-drama satirizes all the groups of the colonial period.  It is a group dance, in which each character of the set performs different steps to the rhythm of a single melody.

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