Culture Magazine

The Ceremonial Masks Of Bolivia

By Gerard @presurfer
The Ceremonial Masks Of Boliviapicture used with permission
Ten days ago I posted about Lucha Libre And The Fighting Cholitas, a great article by 'Bolivia for 91 Days.' Here's another one about the ceremonial masks of Bolivia.
Masks are an essential part of Bolivian celebrations, allowing dancers to adopt the personalities which populate the country's myths and legends. Demons, dragons and angels join representations of real-world creatures like bears and beavers.
Most interesting are those masks based on characters from Bolivian history, such as caricatures of Spanish matadors, and the African slaves brought over to work in Potosi's mines. The latter are depicted with bulging eyes and extended tongues - conditions which the slaves, who suffered terribly with altitude sickness, were actually afflicted with.
The Presurfer

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