TITLE: Kanaval Tiger
TYPE: helmet mask
GENERAL REGION: Caribbean
DESCRIPTION: Tiger Mask
CATALOG ID: CAHT001
MAKER: Didier Civile (Jacmel, 1973- )
AGE: late 1990s
MAIN MATERIAL: paper maché
OTHER MATERIALS: oil-based paint; rubber strap; string
In Haiti, the French-speaking descendants of African slaves celebrate Carnival (Kanaval) with parades and parties. Due to the extreme poverty of the great majority of Haitian people, masks and costumes are mostly handmade from recycled or easily available materials. There are stock characters that appear at most celebrations, such as Chaloska and the horned Lanse Kòds, but participants are free to invent their own costumes. A few expert artisans, such as the one who made this mask, create more professional masks, but even these tend to be made of inexpensive materials, such as paper maché or wire mesh.
For more on Haitian Carnival, see Leah Gordon et al., Kanaval: Vodou, Politics and Revolution on the Streets of Haiti (London: Soul Jazz Pub., 2010).