Lot: 73

95th Tribal Art Auction

Jaguar helmet mask

Unknown artist, Mexico, Guerrero, Zitlala, Nahua

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
H: 10.8 inch;
B: 13 inch
2000 EUR
plus 23 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

hide/ leather, painted in yellow and red, animal bristles, mirror glass, This style of "tigre"(colloquial for "jaguar") masks are used on the feast day of the Holy Cross in early May. As part of the activities, men from different parts of the city ("barrios") put on jaguar costumes and carry out fierce fighting competitions that involve beating each other over the head with knotted ropes. The leather masks are worn over the head to protect the wearer from injury. This fight is considered a sacrifice of pain and a request to the gods to send enough rain for the upcoming planting season. In Guerrero, this festival is closely linked to "Tlaloc", the god of rain.