College of LAS « Illinois

Secrets of Spurlock

jaguar mask

Created between 1979 and 1982, the museum has carved, wooden Mayan masks portraying a deer, jaguar, dog, and other entities.

On what occasion is this kind of mask used?

Answer: Such masks are used by participants in festival processions and dance-dramas that combine indigenous and Spanish traditions. The collection of masks include depictions of a devil, a deer, a jaguar, a dog, and three depictions of a Ladino, or a person from the dominant, nonindigenous population.

Image: Jaguar mask (2010.01.0219) in the Kieffer-Lopez collection, courtesy of the Spurlock Museum.