TITLE: Diablo Mask
TYPE: face mask
SUBREGION: Michoacán
ETHNICITY: Purépecha
DESCRIPTION: Diablo (Devil) Mask
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Danza de los Rancheros
AGE: ca. 2010s
MAIN MATERIAL: terra cotta

In the small town of Ocumicho, Michoacán, many traditional dances are still practiced, including the Danza de los Viejitos (Dance of the Little Old Men) and Danza de los Venados (Dance of the Deer). Unlike most of Mexico, dance masks in Ocumicho are traditionally made of fired clay (barro) instead of wood, because of the abundance of clay deposits in the region. Although wood masks have become more commonly recently, clay masks are still sometimes danced. One such popular dance is the Danza de los Rancheros, in which costumed ranchers and devils dance together. The (unmasked) ranchers wearing traditional sombreros form two lines facing each other, and the masked devils dance between them to the music of trumpets, clarinets and drums. The significance of this tradition is not well understood, however.