The following item belongs to the range of “Antique and Rare Items of the Casa de Artes’ Treasures Series”. ----- Exquisite ceremonial dance mask representing the main Spanish Conquistador, Pedro de Alvarado. During the Dance of the Conquest, Alvarado will fight against the leader of the Mayan Warriors, Tecun Uman. Alvarado was sent by Cortez to conquer the south of Mexico, a territory known as "Coactemalan" by the Indigenous people, the “Place of Trees”. When the Mayas saw this blond character, they nicknamed him "Tonatiuh"- the son of the Sun. So when represented during the ceremonies, the blondness of the character is always exaggerated; notice the golden painted hair, sideburns, eyebrows, moustaches and beard. Sunburned nose and cheeks; red lips and gorgeous blue eyes give this Conquistador a beautiful look. The exquisite ability of the artist is demonstrated with excellent hair lines and stylistic nose and teeth carvings. The use that the piece had is shown in the backside patina that tells the many adventures and events that this piece has overcome. Please notice that the piece is very tiny, most probably a child’s mask; only men perform in the ceremonies and they like to keep the tradition going by bringing their young ones to the fiesta.
Age: Approximately carved in the 1950’s.
Ethnic Group: K’iché
Origin: San Cristobal, Totonicapán
Use: Dance of the Conquest
Technique: Hand carved at a Morería
Size: Approximately 7” x 5.5” x 3.5”