TITLE: Archangel Michael
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
ETHNICITY: Quechua and Aymara
DESCRIPTION: Archangel Michael Mask
CEREMONY: Carnival (La Diablada)
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).