TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Europe
DESCRIPTION: Boteiro Mask
MAKER: Modesto García Yañez (Penouta, Viana do Bolo, 1978- )
CEREMONY: Entroido (Carnival)
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.