Some Recent Yaqui Masks From Ebay

Beginning in August 22, 2016, I posted about a number of masks that had been carved by various members of one of my favorite Yoeme carving families- Rodrigo Rodríguez Muñoz, Jesús Rodríguez Muñoz, their father Preciliano , and his brother Conrado Cupiz. Some of those masks were from my collection, and many others were from the collection of Barney Burns and his wife, Mahina Drees. Recently I had the opportunity to add some additional masks to my collection that were carved by Rodrigo, Jesús, and Preciliano, and I will show these masks purchased on EBay™ in today’s post.

First up is a really typical Perro (canine) Pascola mask in the style of Rodrigo Rodriguéz Muñoz. I would call this his basic canine design, which he elaborates on in other masks with open toothy mouths. It was originally purchased in Sonora in about 1990.

These ears are so typical for this carver.

The eyes, triangles under the eyes, the rim design, and the forehead cross are also classic for Rodrigo.

I show the chin simply to demonstrate that Rodrigo often does not provide a chin cross.

This mask is 9¼ inches tall, 6 inches wide, and 3¼ inches deep.

The back appears to have been stained from use, but the strap seems so inadequate for such use.

For comparison, here are two views of an only slightly more elaborate mask from the collection of Barney Burns and Mahina Drees.

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The second EBay mask was not identified as the work of a particular carver, but it is typical of Payaso (clown) masks in the collection of Barney Burns and Mahina Drees that were identified as the work of Jesús Rodriguéz Muñoz, the brother of Rodrigo. This one was also purchased in Sonora in about 1990.

The clown Pascola form seems to have emerged in Potam, Sonora, and it may have been invented by Manuel Centella Escalante, an earlier Potam carver.

Jesús favors this button nose design  for his clowns. In this family he is also the one who frequently employs scalloped border designs.

This forehead cross is just like those of Rodrigo.

The paired triangles over and under the eyes were most typical of Manuel Centella Escalante.

This mask is 8½ inches tall, 5 inches wide, and 3 inches deep.

This back design turns up again on another Payaso mask by Jesús. This mask was clearly never danced.

Here are two more Clown masks by Jesús that are in the Barney Burns and Mahina Drees collection.

Note the scalloped border on this mask.

There are triangles above and below the eyes.

This mask lacks a forehead cross, which is not unusual for a mask made by Jesús.

 

This mask was danced.

Here is a second Payaso from the collection of Barney and Mahina, for comparison.

This mask has a strange and novel forehead cross.

The four pointed stars are apparently meant to convey a circus style.

On this mask the tears under the eyes were created with inlaid mirror fragments.

 

The back of this mask clearly shows staining from use.

I bought this third mask on Ebay in June, 2019. It is elaborately identified as the work of Preciliano Rodriguez Cupiz, the father of Rodrigo and Jesús. The documentation also states that it was collected on June 6, 1993, in Potam, Sonora.

The forehead cross, the shape of the eyes, and the design on the cheeks are all typical of Preciliano.

The open mouth reveals a bulging tongue.

There is a chin cross.

This mask is 8½ inches tall, 4 inches wide, and 3 inches deep.

I am uncertain whether there is staining from use.

Next week we will look at whatever arrives in the interim.

Bryan Stevens

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