TITLE: Huehueskistli Mask
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Mexico
SUBREGION: Guerrero
ETHNICITY: Nahua
DESCRIPTION: Huehueskistli (Old Man) Mask
MAKER: Unknown maker in Acatlán
CEREMONY: Carnival; Fiesta Patronal (Patron Saint Holiday)
AGE: ca. 1970s
MAIN MATERIAL: wood
OTHER MATERIALS: paint; nails; dyed ixtle fiber headdress

The Huehueskistli (Old Man) is a kind of clown that appears in Carnival and patron saint holidays in parts of Guerrero, mostly Acatlán and Zitlala.  He wears a long sleeve white shirt, black vest and pants, and colorful sarape and bag, with a wig of dyed ixtle fiber on his head. During these celebrations, the Huehueskitli appear and dance in pairs to the music of drums and trumpets, waving large handkerchiefs, acting like drunkards, teasing women, yelling in a high-pitched voice, and making the crowd laugh by jumping on each others’ backs and goofing around generally. The tigres (jaguars) also appear during between the Huehueskistli dances.  The significance of the lizards on the face is unknown.