GENERAL REGION: Latin America
ETHNICITY: Quechua and Aymara
DESCRIPTION: Diablesa Mask
CEREMONY: Carnival (La Diablada)
AGE: ca. late 1970s
MAIN MATERIAL: tin sheet
OTHER MATERIALS: brass chain; synthetic 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 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).