Mojíca Masks Part Three

This week I will present one more group of Mojíca masks from my collection.

The first Mojíca has a modern appearance that again reminds one of the practice of organizing the human face into planes, as one sees in Cubism. I am referring to the carved arcs over the eyes and the severe shaping of the nose. I bought this from the Mano Mágica Gallery in the city of Oaxaca in March, 2001. It was originally collected in the field by Jaled Muyaes and Estela Ogazón.


We see again these little teeth.


This mask is 8 inches tall, 7 inches wide, and 3½ inches deep. It has been imprecisely repainted.


The back is heavily stained from use.

The second Mojíca is another that combines now familiar features in a unique manner, with painted blush spots, prominent dimples, arches over the eyes that sweep down the cheeks, and tiny teeth. I bought this from a mask dealer in Mexico City—Sergio Roman—in 1996.


This is another Mojíca with a manic expression.


This mask is 7 inches tall, 7 inches wide, and 3¼ inches deep.


The back is battered and worn.

I got the next mask recently, in 2014, from the Indigo Arts Gallery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I couldn’t resist the unusual hairline, which reminds me of the evil Queen in the movie Snow White.™ Also note the stylized teeth.


Otherwise, as you probably noticed, this is a rather typical Mojíca mask that combines some of the usual elements.


This mask is 9 inches tall, 7 inches wide, and 4½ inches deep.


The back may have been varnished; it is clearly worn.

I will end with another Cortéz contender, an Español from Veracruz in the Mojíca style. I bought this mask from Robin and Barbara Cleaver in 1996.


There is the usual high relief hairline along with quite a stylish mustache that was also carved in relief. This mask is 7½ inches tall, 6¼ inches wide, and 3 inches deep.


The metal staple in the forehead is another identifying feature. Note the painted teeth.


This mask is old and heavily danced.

I hope that you have enjoyed seeing these Mojíca masks. It must be obvious that I find them irresistible.

Next week I will return to Carnival bulls, showing you some from my collection.

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