A celebration of the mask art of Mexico. The examples are divided into themes - male, female, animal, supernatural, religious, abstract and fantastic. The results range from the carved masks of Michoacan to the tiger masks, with their mirror eyes, whiskers and real teeth.
In rural Mexico, festivals and their attendant dances mark the high point of local life. Old and New World traditions have fused to forge an awe-inspiring range of masks, their makers the creative equal of any craftsmen working today. The brilliantly coloured and wonderfully creative masks that bring to life the pages of "Mask Arts of Mexico" are made from materials - wood, clay, leather, paper, cloth, gourds, wire-mesh, wax - that are as diverse as their abundant signs of artistry, vitality, beauty and wit. Most of the masks have been specially photographed in Mexico by David Lavender. Ruth Lechuga and Chloe Sayer have organized them into themes: male, female, animal, supernatural or religious, and abstract or fantastic. The spectacular results range from the finely carved masks of the "Black" negros of Michoacan, to extraordinary tiger masks - with their mirror eyes, whiskers and real teeth. Throughout history, masks have enthralled human beings, from kings to collectors to today's travellers. These are some of the most remarkable ever seen. Ruth D. Lechuga, a distinguished ethnographer, has lived in Mexico since 1939. Her celebrated collection of Mexican popular art includes over a thousand masks. Chloe Sayer's many acclaimed publications about Mexico include "Arts and Crafts of Mexico" (1990) and "The Traditional Architecture of Mexico" (with Mariana Yampolsky, 1994), both published by Thames and Hudson. David Lavender has worked for many years for the London "Sunday Times" amongst other newspapers and magazines.
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