TITLE: Abuelo Mask
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Bolivia
SUBREGION: Santa Cruz
ETHNICITY: Chiquitano
DESCRIPTION: Abuelo (Grandfather) Mask
MAKER: Unknown maker in San José de Chiquitos
CEREMONY: Danza de los Abuelos
AGE: 2015
MAIN MATERIAL: wood
OTHER MATERIALS: paint

Eastern Bolivia is the home to the indigenous Chiquitano people, also known as the Monkóx.  There are fewer than 150,000 Chiquitanos left in Bolivia, and fewer than 1000 in Brazil.  From May 1 to May 4 every year, the residents of San José de Chiquitos dress in shawls and wooden masks, and carry around walking sticks, dancing as abuelos (grandfathers, or old men) to the sound of traditional flute, violin, and drum music. The origins and meaning of the dance are conjectural, but many believe the white complexion of the mask is intended to poke fun at the light-skinned Spanish colonists and Jesuits who disrupted the lives of the indigenous peoples of eastern Bolivia.