In July, I was over in Patzcuaro for a few days and I drove along the west side of Lake Patzcuaro to Tocuaro where Felipe lives. Felipe began carving at the age of twelve, an art that he learned from his father.
Felipe is modeling the mask for me. This mask has been "danced" which means it has been worn in a parade or a traditional dance for a particular festival.
I really wanted to buy this one with the rabbit fur on the top but Felipe would not budge. It was part of his personal collection.
About two weeks later, Felipe came over to San Miguel de Allende, where I live part time, and brought a whole collection of old and danced masks along with some masks he had just carved and painted. He carves his masks out of Copal wood and Avocado wood.
More masks. The pink face masks with the sisal hair are worn for the Danza de Los Viejitos, dance of the old men. This dance is pretty funny. The dancers wear masks of old people and they are dressed in typical campesino (people of the countryside) clothing. They start the dance mimicking hunched over old men with minimal movements. Then the dancers pick up the pace, they start trembling, falling down, coughing but still moving rather slowly. Today the dance represents the richness of life and is performed during religious holidays.