Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Video: Mexican Handcraft Masters — The Face of the Devil

Mexican Handcraft Masters Series: Felipe Horta

Following the conquest of Mesoamerica, the Spanish attempted to eradicate indigenous dance as part of their imposition of Catholicism. When it proved impossible to extinguish, evangelizers instead altered the dances to include Christian symbolism and themes. Remnants of these syncretic dance forms still exist throughout Mexico in places such as Felipe Horta’s workshop in Tócuaro, a small village in the state of Michoacán. For more than 30 years, Horta has been crafting colourful, menacing devil masks and costumes for nativity plays. Horta’s painted wood masks and hand-sewn sequin suits are designed to evoke the eternal fight between good and evil by transforming their wearers into dragon-like ‘demons and devils’. Through his art, Horta seeks to assure that the nativity plays endure as a piece of the region’s living traditions, not merely historic folklore. This film is part of the Mexican director Mariano Rentería Garnica’s short documentary series on artisans in the western state of Michoacán.

Director: Mariano Rentería Garnica

Producer: Jorge Díez Maza

Artist: Felipe Horta

Music: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

Text quoted from Aeon

Filmed in Tócuaro, Michoacán
El Relicario, 2018

Running time: 5:52

Email subscribers may click on the title of this post to watch the video.

La Dualidad by Felipe Horta
Máscara de Diablo Negro by Felipe Horta
Máscara de Diablo (sin pintar) by Felipe Horta

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