TITLE: Saqra Mesh Mask
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Peru
SUBREGION: Paucartambo
ETHNICITY: Quechua; Aymara
DESCRIPTION: Saqra (Devil) Mask
MAKER: Unknown maker in Ollantaytambo
CEREMONY: Danza Saqra (Kuwallada)
AGE: 2019
MAIN MATERIAL: wire mesh
OTHER MATERIALS: metal strips; plastic; foam rubber; paint; string

Throughout the highlands of Peru, major festivals include masked dances. One common dance in many towns is the Kuwallada, which includes a Danza Saqra, or dance of the devils. The term saqra is Quechua for “wicked” or “devil” and represents tricksters dressed as animals or devils.  They are not really “evil,” but merely mischievous. In most places, the saqra mask is made of paper maché, covered in plaster and painted. In the ancient town of Ollantaytambo, however, the saqra is a metal mesh mask, with foam rubber ears, horns, and other adornments.