GENERAL REGION: Latin America
DESCRIPTION: Viejita (Little Old Lady) Mask
MAKER: Martín Catalan Lazardo, Zumpango del Rio
CEREMONY: Danza de los Viejitos
MAIN MATERIAL: wood
OTHER MATERIALS: leather ears; paint
Many parts of Mexico have a traditional Danza de los Viejitos (Dance of the Little Old Men), but it is most common in the state of Michoacán. The dance celebrates and pokes fun at village characters, with a special emphasis on older residents. In some parts of Guerrero, however, a choreographed Viejitos (or Viejos) dance is performed to drums, rattles, shouts, and sometimes trumpets, with both old men and old women like this one performing. Some participants wear special masks resembling the elderly, like this one, while others merely wear their black masks from the dance of the Tlacololeros.