DESCRIPTION: A vibrant, expressive Mexican folk art mask of a yellow and red jaguar with big blue eyes, wide mouth and erect leather ears. Hand carved and painted, this vintage mask depicts a fanciful American jaguar, a popular theme for Mexican artists. The paint condition on this mask is excellent; wire is attached for hanging. View the final three photos to compare this mask with our Mexican Jaguar Mask #W-FIG4; they make wonderful companion pieces! DIMENSIONS: 11.5" tall (29.2 cm) x 10" wide (25.4 cm).
CULTURAL BACKGROUND: The use of masks in Mexico can be traced as far back as 3000 BC to pre-Hispanic culture. With Spanish colonization, masks were used to educate indigenous people on the Christian faith through dramatic presentations. As the two cultures fused, the imprint of each was recorded in masks as part of the tradition of the village festival. These festivals honored saint's days and major Christian holidays where elaborately scripted dance dramas involving music, song, and feasting lasted for several days. Participants fulfilled religious vows by their involvement, while the dances educated and informed the community of shared values and concerns.