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Guatemalan Masks - Hand Carved - $90 (Las Cruces)

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condition: excellent
make / manufacturer: Hand Crafted
Guatemalan masks

A mixed set of Mayan hand-carved wooden masks ... obtained from an artisan in Chichicastenengo Guatemala ... 2 large and 7 smaller masks and includes a hand made flute ... colorful, hand carved, some stained/varnished and others (smaller) hand painted ... I added a hand-carved mask from Copper Canyon Mexico as a bonus.

Why Mayan masks ... some background ...

The Mayan people inhabited the Yucatan Peninsula from 2500 BC to 1550 AD. The basic principles of the Mayan religion were adapted from the Olmec and Teotihuacan people, prior to the seventh century AD.

Mask Making Intricate Process: Various types of tropical wood are used to create the carved masks: acacia, cocobolo, bocote, cobal, or even ironwood. Several local artisans explained to me that the shape and characteristics of a piece of wood often suggests a motif to them as they begin carving.

The actual carving is done with machetes, kitchen and pocket knives. After the bark is removed, a detailed outline is drawn, defining the image with greater clarity and detail. The carving alone takes up to a month, at times longer. The mask is then left to dry for up to 10 months, depending on its overall size and thickness. Next, oil or beeswax is rubbed on to protect and bring out the character of the wood grain. Some artists embellish the carving with natural dyes from plants. As with any folk art, the complexity and quality of the finished product determines the price.

Whether used as art, home d├ęcor, or a vacation souvenir, carved wooden masks are a beautiful tribute to the culture of Guatemala.

post id: 7747626682

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