Mexican Devil Mask Victoriano Salgado

Quantity available: 1

Museum Quality , very well-hand-carved, and painted Mexican wood mask, "Mascara de Diablo con Serpiente" (Devil Mask with Coral Snake). The mask was made in the 1970s by the famous Mexican artist Victoriano Salgado (1920 - 2012) from Uruapan, Michoacan, Mexico.

NOTE: Mexican culture has a rich tradition of using masks in ceremonies, mainly ritual dances. The use of masks dates back to 3000 BC when they were an essential part of expressing the community's beliefs and religion. These masks were carefully crafted to represent various deities, spirits, and animals that held particular significance in the community's belief system.

This mask depicts the El Diablo (The Devil). The devil has a snake with an apple in its mouth, representing the apple that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. This mask is used in the Danza de Fecundidad or the dance of Fertility.

Victoriano Salgado Morales was a prolific designer and maker of wooden, maque, decorative masks used by dancers in Purépecha fiestas. Born in Uruapan, Michoacan, Mexico, in 1920, he was a Grand Master of Mexican Folk art and one of the last skilled masters of this unique art form. Señor Salgado learned this skill from several mask makers in the Magdalena neighborhood where he grew up. His first mask dates to 1950, and it was a "Negrito" folk dance mask.

His masks are hand painted, the process used for color is a highly superior technique called "maque", which is a pre-hispanic process involving numerous applications of natural earth and insect pigments and oils applied with the palm of the hand that hardens into a brilliant, lustrous surface.

He created over 60 different masks, the most famous being: the dance of the Señor Naranjo and the dance of the Tataqueri, Corcovi, Diablos, Negritos, and Viejitos. His work is highly collectible and can be found in private and museum collections, including The British Museum, The Field Museum, The Museum of International Folk Art, The Smithsonian Institution, Sam Houston State University - Huntsville, Museo Nacional de la Mascara. San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

Please see the links below:

Victoriano Salgado Morales passed away on September 2012, two weeks before receiving the Erendira Award, the highest prize given by the Michoacan State Government. Although Señor Salgado has passed away, his legacy lives on through his family. He was one of Mexico's premier carvers whose masks were synonymous with the regional dances of Uruapan, Michoacán. Now Victoriano's sons, Martin, Gerardo, and Juan Carlos carry on their father's tradition by preserving the methods, techniques, and materials passed on to them.

CONDITION: It's in good vintage condition with some age-appropriate wear. The two teeth are chipped, and one is cracked, and another is broken off.


Width: 23 cm (9.06 inches).

Height: 21 cm (8.27 inches).

Depth: 13 cm (5.12 inches).

Item Details

Reference #:
Folk Art
20th century
(Width x Height X Depth)
x x