Latin America, Mexico, Sonora, Yaqui people, ca. 20th century CE. A large and finely-detailed festival mask, hand-carved from a single piece of lightweight wood, with dramatic facial features and exceptional craftsmanship. The striking visage is comprised of ovoid eyes, an upturned nose, concave cheeks, a furrowed brow, an enormous chin, and a devious smile with a pair of protruding fangs. The domed brow displays several drooping tufts of hair, perhaps goat or horse, and remnants of its original bright-red pigmentation are visible. This example is known as a “Pascola” (or “old man of the fiesta”) mask. The pascola simultaneously represents an old man, a wise man, and a devilish clown who keeps festival patrons entertained throughout the duration of the ceremony. Pascola masks oftentimes had a cross carved or painted in the center of the forehead, though this example lacks such an embellishment. The verso is carved out for wear, making this an interesting as well as functional mask! Comes with museum-quality display stand. Size: 14.75" H (37.5 cm); 16.25" H (41.3 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: private Eason Eige collection, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
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Surface wear commensurate with age and use, losses to areas of forehead and nose, with nicks and chips to chin, cheeks, nose, forehead, and peripheries. Extensive fading and loss to pigmentation, otherwise excellent. Nice light earthen deposits throughout. Thin metal wire on verso for suspension.