TITLE: Huichol Tsikwaki
TYPE: mask
ETHNICITY: Huichol (Wixáritari)
DESCRIPTION: Tsikwaki Mask
MAKER: Santos de la Cruz Carrillo, San Andres Cohamiata
CEREMONY: Mawarirra; Beyak
AGE: 2014
MAIN MATERIAL: pine wood
OTHER MATERIALS: ash pigment; human hair; glue

The Huichol people (or Wixáritari, as they call themselves) are indigenous peoples of the Mexican states of Jalisco, Nayarit, and small parts of Zacatecas and Durango. They are a spiritual people with an ancient, animistic religion centered around the sun god and closely connected to the ritual use of peyote. In recent years, missionaries have altered traditional beliefs with syncretic Catholicism.

Among their holidays are Mawarirra, or Holiday of Bull Sacrifice, and Beyak, a Huichol term for Holy Week. In both celebrations, tsikwaki, or clowns, may appear to ridicule the mestizo neighbors of the Huichols, frightening the children and causing mischief for everyone’s entertainment