TITLE: Juan Negro
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Mexico
SUBREGION: Hidalgo
ETHNICITY: Otomí
DESCRIPTION: Juan Negro (Cuanegro) Mask
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Juan Negro Dance Drama
AGE: ca. 2000s
MAIN MATERIAL: wood
OTHER MATERIALS: oil-based paint

The Juan Negro (Black John) Dance Drama of the Hidalgo region tells a comic tale of a struggle between a Spanish colonist and his foreman over the love of a girl. It is sometimes spelled Juanegro or Cuanegro. The Spaniard, Juan Blanco (White John), wears a light-colored mask because of his life of shady ease, while the Juan Negro (a peasant) has dark skin from working in the sun.  In the end, Juan Blanco wins the girl, denoting the injustice the unequal wealth and power perpetuates.  For mysterious reasons, the girl is played by an unmasked man in a dress. The dance is also performed in adjoining parts of Veracruz.