This a very rare and old body mask from the state of Guerrero. It was used in the Dance of the Santiagueros. I bought this in Guerrero nearly 40 years ago. It would date from the late 19th century to the early 20th century.
Santiago is St. James and traditionally is accompanied by his white stallion (the body mask), the most important element of his position.
The stallion (body mask) is treated as a living saint . Each year guardians are appointed who must provide him with food and water every morning. I have, unfortunately, not done this.
In the state of Puebla the horses are in two pieces joined together by wood and rope. In Guerrero they are carved in one piece. The wearer, probably a child, would have been covered by a white sheet.
It is 37 inches wide by 24 inches high and would march with Santiago in the Dance of the Santiagueros..
It is not in perfect condition which you can see from the photographs but has been well used which gives it its meaning. It has great cultural significance.
There is much more information to be had about the cultural significance of this dance, which I have not added here, on the internet.
I will sell to Mexico but not through the postal service. It would probably have to be shipped through an international carrier which would not be cheap. For US customers shipping and insurance will be free if bought at full price.
Thank you for looking.
Rare 19/early 20C Mexican Santiaguerros body mask