Click above to watch a short documentary about the tastoanes of Tonalá, Mexico.

TITLE: Tastoan
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Mexico
SUBREGION: Jalisco
ETHNICITY: Nahua
DESCRIPTION: Tastoan Mask
MAKER: Ubaldo Macías Bernabe, Tonalá (1972- )
CEREMONY: Fiesta de Santiago el Apostól
AGE: 2017
MAIN MATERIAL: leather
OTHER MATERIALS: horse teeth; animal bone; acrylic paint; lacquer; glue paste; wire; thread; elastic bands; horse hair

In parts of Jalisco and Zacatecas, the holiday in honor of Santiago el Apostól (St. James the Apostle) is held every 25th of July. Celebrants carry spears and dress in long pants, leather chaps, and boots, with demonic masks made of wood (Zacatecas) or molded leather (Jalisco) covered with a montera (headdress) of goat hair, horse hair, or plant fiber. The festival commemorates a battle between the indigenous warriors of the area and conquistadors. The appearance of the tastoanes, who represent indigenous warriors, conveys their ferocity through sharp teeth, large noses, and snakes, lizards, scorpions and spiders for decorations. This mask has images of the mythical creatures nahual and nahuala, half jaguar and half human, who symbolize the ferocity of the Tonaltecs. In some cases, the masks are dotted to convey the transmission of diseases such as smallpox and syphilis from the Spaniards to the indigenous peoples.

During the celebration, tastoanes and either three kings wearing ceramic masks or three Aztec priestesses (one representing the Tonaltec queen Tzapotzintli, also known as Tzuapili oor Cihualpilli) carry an image of St. James along a parade route and dance to music carrying swords or whips, after which they make defiant speeches and engage in a mock battle (jugada) with a participant carrying a whip who represents St. James.  At the end of the battle, all the tastoanes die and St. James is victorious. In the past, all tastoanes were male, but recently women have begun to participate as well.  In some towns, an organization such as a Cofradía de Santo Santiago (Fraternity of St. James) organizes the event.

This specific mask was made by the award-winning craftsman Ubaldo Macías of Tonalá.

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TITLE: Mardi Gras Water Spirit
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: North America
COUNTRY: United States of America
SUB-REGION: New Orleans, Louisiana
ETHNICITY: Mixed
DESCRIPTION: Water Spirit Mask
MAKER: Lawrence D. Wood, Crownsville, Maryland
CEREMONY: Mardi Gras
AGE: 2013
MAIN MATERIAL: leather
OTHER MATERIALS: acrylic paint

In Catholic practice, Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”) is the last day of celebration of Carnival before the fasting period of Lent. In the United States, the holiday is nowhere more vigorously celebrated than in New Orleans, Louisiana. There, a two-week Carnival season terminating on Mardi Gras is celebrated with parades composed of elaborate costumes and masks, floats, marching bands, all organize by private “krewes” composed of public-spirited citizens dedicated to preserving the Mardi Gras tradition. Krewes tend to have a fairly constant structure of officers, who frequently ride horseback in handsome costumes and white draped masks, float riders who chuck “throws,” or small gifts such as plastic beaded necklaces, toys, or mementos (usually with the krewe’s name and insignia) into the cheering crowds, and a guest “king” and “queen” of the krewe.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is also typically celebrated with formal balls held by the krewes in honor of the king and queen, and to celebrate the season.  Mask wearing among street celebrants is common as well. Traditionally, Mardi Gras masks are made of formed and painted leather, and can represent any character from real life or fantasy.  In modern practice, cheap masks mass manufactured of sequined cloth or paper maché covered in dyed feathers have become common.



Click above to watch a short documentary about Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2019 and 2020.

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TITLE: Huatrila
TYPE: helmet mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Peru
SUBREGION: Jauja or Huaripampa
ETHNICITY: Quechua
DESCRIPTION: Hautrila Mask
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Tunantada; Chonginada
AGE: 1979
MAIN MATERIAL: leather
OTHER MATERIALS: wool; glass eyes; pigment

The Tunantada is a dance performed in the Jauja region of Peru during the January Festival of San Sebatián and San Fabián, patron saints of the town. Dancers in wire mesh masks represent the Spaniards, who oppress the chutos, or Amerindians.  The huatrila is a kind of clown chuto who personifies the first Jaujan (Hatun Runa).  The dance-drama satirizes all the groups of the colonial period.  It is a group dance, in which each character of the set performs different steps to the rhythm of a single melody.

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TITLE: Tastoan (Child)
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Mexico
SUBREGION: Jalisco
ETHNICITY: Nahua
DESCRIPTION: Child’s Tastoan Mask
MAKER: Unknown maker in San Juan de Ocotlán under name of “El Viejo”
CEREMONY: Fiesta de Santiago el Apostól
AGE: 2003
MAIN MATERIAL: leather
OTHER MATERIALS: paint; string; horse hair

In parts of Jalisco and Zacatecas, the holiday in honor of Santiago el Apostól (St. James the Apostle) is held every 25th of July. Celebrants carry spears and dress in long pants, leather chaps, and boots, with demonic masks made of wood (Zacatecas) or molded leather (Jalisco) covered with a montera (headdress) of goat hair, horse hair, or plant fiber. The festival commemorates a battle between the indigenous warriors of the area and conquistadors. The appearance of the tastoanes, who represent indigenous warriors, conveys their ferocity through sharp teeth, large noses, and snakes, lizards, scorpions and spiders for decorations. This mask has images of the mythical creatures nahual and nahuala, half jaguar and half human, who symbolize the ferocity of the Tonaltecs. In some cases, the masks are dotted to convey the transmission of diseases such as smallpox and syphilis from the Spaniards to the indigenous peoples.

During the celebration, tastoanes and either three kings wearing ceramic masks or three Aztec priestesses (one representing the Tonaltec queen Tzapotzintli, also known as Tzuapili oor Cihualpilli) carry an image of St. James along a parade route and dance to music carrying swords or whips, after which they make defiant speeches and engage in a mock battle (jugada) with a participant carrying a whip who represents St. James.  At the end of the battle, all the tastoanes die and St. James is victorious. In the past, all tastoanes were male, but recently women have begun to participate as well.  In some towns, an organization such as a Cofradía de Santo Santiago (Fraternity of St. James) organizes the event.

This specific mask was made for a young child in the town of San Juan de Ocotlán.

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TITLE: Mardi Gras Timber Wolf
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: North America
COUNTRY: United States of America
SUB-REGION: New Orleans, Louisiana
ETHNICITY: Mixed
DESCRIPTION: Timber Wolf Mask
MAKER: Andrea Masse, Tonawanda, New York (1965- )
CEREMONY: Mardi Gras; fantasy
AGE: 2013
MAIN MATERIAL: leather
OTHER MATERIALS: acrylic paint; vinyl cord

In Catholic practice, Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”) is the last day of celebration of Carnival before the fasting period of Lent. In the United States, the holiday is nowhere more vigorously celebrated than in New Orleans, Louisiana. There, a two-week Carnival season terminating on Mardi Gras is celebrated with parades composed of elaborate costumes and masks, floats, marching bands, all organize by private “krewes” composed of public-spirited citizens dedicated to preserving the Mardi Gras tradition. Krewes tend to have a fairly constant structure of officers, who frequently ride horseback in handsome costumes and white draped masks, float riders who chuck “throws,” or small gifts such as plastic beaded necklaces, toys, or mementos (usually with the krewe’s name and insignia) into the cheering crowds, and a guest “king” and “queen” of the krewe.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is also typically celebrated with formal balls held by the krewes in honor of the king and queen, and to celebrate the season.  Mask wearing among street celebrants is common as well. Traditionally, Mardi Gras masks are made of formed and painted leather, and can represent any character from real life or fantasy.  In modern practice, cheap masks mass manufactured of sequined cloth or paper maché covered in dyed feathers have become common.

This specific mask was hand made by Andrea Masse, a skilled artisan from New York state, for such events as Renaissance festivals and Mardi Gras.



Click above to watch a short documentary about Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2019 and 2020.

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TITLE: Austrian Perchtenmaske and Costume
TYPE: helmet mask; costume; accessory
GENERAL REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Austria
ETHNICITY: Tyrolean
DESCRIPTION: Perchtenmaske (Krampus Mask) and Costume
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Perchtenlauf
AGE: 2003 (mask); 2014 (costume)
MAIN MATERIAL (Mask): wood
OTHER MATERIALS (Mask): goat horns; paint; goat fur; rabbit fur; foam rubber; adhesive
MAIN MATERIAL (Costume): goat leather and fur
OTHER MATERIALS (Costume): bronze hardware; bronze bells; birch sticks; cloth; paint

Perchtenlauf is a Tyrolean winter festival equivalent to the old Norse Yule.  In many parts of Austria, southern Germany, Switzerland, and northern Italy, in mid-December the town organizes a parade of Perchten, or demons who represent evil spirits (known in Germany as Krampus).  The Perchten wear frightening horned masks with sharp teeth and long, lolling tongues, typically in a suit of goat skin with loud cowbells attached to their belt.  Their function is to accompanying St. Nicholas, who reward good children with treats and presents, while the Perchten punish bad children by beating them with birch switches or throwing them into wicker baskets on their backs to carry down to Hell for punishment.

This complete costume includes a goat leather body suit, gloves with simulated long nails (made of leather), a leather and bronze belt with bronze cowbells, and a birch stick switch for whipping children and other audience members.

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TITLE: Mardi Gras Wizard
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: North America
COUNTRY: United States of America
SUB-REGION: New Orleans, Louisiana
ETHNICITY: Mixed
DESCRIPTION: Wizard Mask
MAKER: Vincent Alan Ur, Tulsa, Oklahoma (1966- )
CEREMONY: Mardi Gras
AGE: 2013
MAIN MATERIAL: leather
OTHER MATERIALS: acrylic paint

In Catholic practice, Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”) is the last day of celebration of Carnival before the fasting period of Lent. In the United States, the holiday is nowhere more vigorously celebrated than in New Orleans, Louisiana. There, a two-week Carnival season terminating on Mardi Gras is celebrated with parades composed of elaborate costumes and masks, floats, marching bands, all organize by private “krewes” composed of public-spirited citizens dedicated to preserving the Mardi Gras tradition. Krewes tend to have a fairly constant structure of officers, who frequently ride horseback in handsome costumes and white draped masks, float riders who chuck “throws,” or small gifts such as plastic beaded necklaces, toys, or mementos (usually with the krewe’s name and insignia) into the cheering crowds, and a guest “king” and “queen” of the krewe.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is also typically celebrated with formal balls held by the krewes in honor of the king and queen, and to celebrate the season.  Mask wearing among street celebrants is common as well. Traditionally, Mardi Gras masks are made of formed and painted leather, and can represent any character from real life or fantasy.  In modern practice, cheap masks mass manufactured of sequined cloth or paper maché covered in dyed feathers have become common.

This specific mask was hand made by a skilled artisan from Tulsa, Oklahoma and brought to New Orleans during Mardi Gras to be sold.



Click above to watch a short documentary about Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2019 and 2020.

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Click above to watch a short documentary about the tastoanes of Tonalá, Mexico.

TITLE: Tastoan Perro
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Mexico
SUBREGION: Jalisco
ETHNICITY: Nahua
DESCRIPTION: Perro Mask for the Tastoanes Dance
MAKER: Ubaldo Macías Bernabe, Tonalá (1972- )
CEREMONY: Fiesta de Santiago el Apostól
AGE: 2017
MAIN MATERIAL: leather
OTHER MATERIALS: acrylic paint; lacquer; glue paste; wire; thread; elastic bands; goat hair; ixtle fiber

In parts of Jalisco and Zacatecas, the holiday in honor of Santiago el Apostól (St. James the Apostle) is held every 25th of July. Celebrants carry spears and dress in long pants, leather chaps, and boots, with demonic masks made of wood (Zacatecas) or molded leather (Jalisco) covered with a montera (headdress) of goat hair, horse hair, or plant fiber. The festival commemorates a battle between the indigenous warriors of the area and conquistadors. The appearance of the tastoanes, who represent indigenous warriors, conveys their ferocity through sharp teeth, large noses, and snakes, lizards, scorpions and spiders for decorations.

During the celebration, tastoanes and either three kings wearing ceramic masks or three Aztec priestesses (one representing the Tonaltec queen Tzapotzintli, also known as Tzuapili oor Cihualpilli) carry an image of St. James along a parade route and dance to music carrying swords or whips, after which they make defiant speeches and engage in a mock battle (jugada) with a participant carrying a whip who represents St. James. At the beginning of the battle, the tastoanes carry in St. James as a prisoner and torture him, but he is rescued by his dog (perro), which this mask represents. The dog drives away the tastoanes with a stick and assists St. James, afterward supplying him with new sticks as he breaks them on the bodies of tastoanes. In most performances, the dog dies in the course of the battle. Nonetheless, at the end, all the tastoanes die and St. James is victorious. In some towns, an organization such as a Cofradía de Santo Santiago (Fraternity of St. James) organizes the event.

This specific mask was made by the award-winning craftsman Ubaldo Macías of Tonalá.

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TITLE: Mardi Gras Butterfly Mask
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: North America
COUNTRY: United States of America
SUB-REGION: New Orleans, Louisiana
ETHNICITY: Mixed
DESCRIPTION: “Chrysalis” (Blue Butterfly) Mask
MAKER: Vincent Alan Ur, Tulsa, Oklahoma (1966- )
CEREMONY: Mardi Gras
AGE: 2005
MAIN MATERIAL: leather
OTHER MATERIALS: acrylic paint

In Catholic practice, Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”) is the last day of celebration of Carnival before the fasting period of Lent. In the United States, the holiday is nowhere more vigorously celebrated than in New Orleans, Louisiana. There, a two-week Carnival season terminating on Mardi Gras is celebrated with parades composed of elaborate costumes and masks, floats, marching bands, all organize by private “krewes” composed of public-spirited citizens dedicated to preserving the Mardi Gras tradition. Krewes tend to have a fairly constant structure of officers, who frequently ride horseback in handsome costumes and white draped masks, float riders who chuck “throws,” or small gifts such as plastic beaded necklaces, toys, or mementos (usually with the krewe’s name and insignia) into the cheering crowds, and a guest “king” and “queen” of the krewe.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is also typically celebrated with formal balls held by the krewes in honor of the king and queen, and to celebrate the season.  Mask wearing among street celebrants is common as well. Traditionally, Mardi Gras masks are made of formed and painted leather, and can represent any character from real life or fantasy.  In modern practice, cheap masks mass manufactured of sequined cloth or paper maché covered in dyed feathers have become common.

This specific mask was hand made by a skilled artisan from Tulsa, Oklahoma and brought to New Orleans during Mardi Gras to be sold.



Click above to watch a short documentary about Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2019 and 2020.

:



Click above to watch a short documentary about the tastoanes of Tonalá, Mexico.

TITLE: Tastoan
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Mexico
SUBREGION: Jalisco
ETHNICITY: Nahua
DESCRIPTION: Tastoan
MAKER: Jesús “Don Chuy” Delgado Navarro, Tonalá (1956- )
CEREMONY: Fiesta de Santiago el Apostól
AGE: 2007
MAIN MATERIAL: leather
OTHER MATERIALS: cow teeth; animal bone; acrylic paint; lacquer; glue paste; wire; thread; horse hair

In parts of Jalisco and Zacatecas, the holiday in honor of Santiago el Apostól (St. James the Apostle) is held every 25th of July. Celebrants carry spears and dress in long pants, leather chaps, and boots, with demonic masks made of wood (Zacatecas) or molded leather (Jalisco) covered with a montera (headdress) of goat hair, horse hair, or plant fiber. The festival commemorates a battle between the indigenous warriors of the area and conquistadors. The appearance of the tastoanes, who represent indigenous warriors, conveys their ferocity through sharp teeth, large noses, and snakes, lizards, scorpions and spiders for decorations. This mask has images of the mythical creatures nahual and nahuala, half jaguar and half human, who symbolize the ferocity of the Tonaltecs. In some cases, the masks are dotted to convey the transmission of diseases such as smallpox and syphilis from the Spaniards to the indigenous peoples.

During the celebration, tastoanes and either three kings wearing ceramic masks or three Aztec priestesses (one representing the Tonaltec queen Tzapotzintli, also known as Tzuapili oor Cihualpilli) carry an image of St. James along a parade route and dance to music carrying swords or whips, after which they make defiant speeches and engage in a mock battle (jugada) with a participant carrying a whip who represents St. James.  At the end of the battle, all the tastoanes die and St. James is victorious. In the past, all tastoanes were male, but recently women have begun to participate as well.  In some towns, an organization such as a Cofradía de Santo Santiago (Fraternity of St. James) organizes the event.

This specific mask was made for a child by the award-winning craftsman and tastoan mayor, “Don Chuy” Delgado of Tonalá, and danced by his grandson Moises for nine years. It was painted using pigments that fluoresce under ultraviolet light, such as sunlight or a black light.

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