Gorgonio Candelario Castro, Chivo Mask, Comala Colima
Priced in Mexican Pesos. Gorgonio Candelario Castro, Chivo Mask, Comala, Colima. 16" wide and 31" tall (w/o measuring the beard) . The story of the mask is written inside. Gorgonio Candelario Castro's family has been making hand-crafted wooden masks for 3 generations, and any sons of Gorgonio will continue the tradition.Gorgonio is a Nahua Indian. The Nahua are descendents of the Aztecs and direct heirs to their language and culture. Many Nahua areas, such as Suchitlan, Colima, where Gorgonio lives, maintain strong roots to the pre-Hispanic cultures. Suchitlan is at the base of Colima's active volcano, "Volcan de Fuego."Gorgonio's family will continue making masks as long as there are descendents to make them--all because of a special miracle.Almost a hundred years ago, Gorgonio's grandfather, Don Basilio, had a child who was very sick. He was not expected to survive the day. Don Basilio took the infant to the local church in Suchitlan and began to pray for his stricken son. He made a promise to God that if his son lived, he would continue the tradition of making masks for generations to come. Family legend has it that the boy made a miraculous recovery, and the men have been making masks ever since.Among the Nahuas, mask makers are special citizens. The masks themselves have a distinctive purpose and are used in several celebrations. The Nahua have existed for more than 2,000 years, and are peaceful people--farmers and craftsmen--who respect the land and its creatures.In generations past, the honored mask makers would chew peyote in a sacramental ritual prior to plying their trade. The visions that resulted from the hallucinogen became the basis for the mask designs, and the masks would be carved and painted in the days the "mascarero" was under the influence of the psychotropic drug.
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