Spanish Conquistador Pinewood Dance Wall Mask from Guatemala
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With a thick beard, golden teeth and a rather pinkish complexion, this dance mask personifies a Spanish conquistador. "This is a replica of those worn for the 'Dance of the Conquest,' a traditional dance here in Guatemala," explains a spokesperson from Nahuala Artisan Cooperative. The artisans carve the pinewood wall mask by hand and paint it with admirable expertise.
Dating back to the 16th century, the "Dance of the Conquest" is credited to the Dominican monks, who devised it as a teaching instrument to explain that the conquest of Guatemala was possible thanks to the spiritual forces that accompanied the Spanish.