TITLE: Santiguero Mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
DESCRIPTION: Santiguero (Follower of St. James) Mask
CEREMONY: Danza de los Santiagueros
AGE: mid to late 1990s
MAIN MATERIAL: cedar wood
OTHER MATERIALS: plaster; paint
The Danza de los Santiagueros (Dance of the Saint James’s) is based on a mythical story of St. James the Apostle (Santiago el Apostól) exacting revenge on the enemies of Jesus, especially Pontius Pilate (Pilato, sometimes called Rey Pilato). St. James may or may not wear a mask, but Pilato usually does. Accompanying each side are their allies, santiagueros (not to be confused with St. James himself, who often appears with a beard and on pseudo-horseback, represented by a wooden horse figure tied around his waist) and pilatos (little Pontius Pilates) respectively.
The santiagueros wear red or reddish masks and support St. James in his fight.
For more on masks from Puebla, see Bryan J. Stevens, Mexican Masks and Puppets: Master Carvers of the Sierra de Puebla (Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Pub’g, 2012).