An Anonymous Rio Mayo Mask with Spots

In February 2005 I purchased an attractive and heavily danced Rio Mayo Pascola mask from Karima Muyaes, one of the daughters of Jaled Muyaes and Estela Ogazón. She had recently purchased the mask in Navojoa, Sonora. It came without the name of the carver, nor do I recognize this hand. In contrast to the made-for-sale masks that we had examined last week, this one is nicely carved and heavily danced.

The extended tongue on this mask was carved from a separate piece of wood and fastened in place between the teeth.

The nicely carved almond shaped eyes have been given an exotic shape by careful repainting.

The nose has a graceful profile that reminds one of several other carvers such as Pancho Parra and Sylvestre Lopez.

This painted decoration is probably not identical to the original paint. The forehead cross presently has a strange shape. The jewels on the forehead may also be later additions. In other words, a well-loved mask becomes like a living thing, transformed over time.

Recent repainting probably provides a misleading impression of this masks original appearance.

There is no chin cross.

This mask is 7 inches tall, 5¾ inches wide, and 3 inches deep.

The back is heavily stained, suggesting that this mask was used for many years.

Next week we will examine the masks of Héctor Francisco “Paco” Gamez.

Bryan Stevens

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