maskW170xL230mm, Mexico

A ceramic mask from Mexico.

Masks are integrated into the Mexican culture; long before the arrival of the Hispanic influences masks were used in ceremony and ritualistic dances.  These mask festivals were performed to honour the spirits for these blessing of a good weather, harvest and general well being.  At the time of birth, adulthood, marriage, reign and death, masked dances were also used to gain the protection of the spirits.

As a well to control indigenous culture, masks were banned in the beginning of the Spanish rule.  With the introduction of Catholic and Christian religion, characters, stories and teaching of the religion were portrayed in the new mask dances.