Craftin Identity: Masks and the Pastorela in Michoacán

Exhibition Website

Sep 10 2016 - Jan 14 2017

An exhibition of masks carved by Felipe Horta and various other mask artists from the village of Tocuaro, in Michoacán. These masks are used in the ceremonial dances (Pastorelas) staged during the community fiesta held each February. Tocuaro is locally and nationally known for its mask artists (mascareros) and the well-carved and painted masks that they produce.

The art museum presents masks of all shapes and sizes, channeling both comedic and horrific emotions through the faces on display. The Pastorelas, the main focus of the exhibit, chronicle the Biblical story of the shepherds’ journey to see the baby Jesus. Devils are depicted to distract their progress, while masks depicting the church guard watch over them. Other displayed masks include the Tricksters, the Clowns, and even masks exemplifying traditional Mestizo dances. These artifacts embody the people’s cultural traditions.

Exhibition overview from museum website

  • Costume
  • Latin American
  • Contemporary
  • Sacred
  • Mexico
  • Felipe Horta
  • and others

Exhibition Venues & Dates