Inspired by the vast legacy of the Mexican mask tradition, it has been my intention to create a new type of mask to suit the sensibility of modern man and to reintegrate its use in society as a vital means of cultural and artistic expression. By blending figurative realism with natural elements, a new image is gestated which is simultaneously human and animal. This new mask strips away our civilized veneer in order to stress out instinctual impulses. A symbolic link is established between man and nature which echoes a primal message of man’s dependency on animals and a cosmic order. The furs and horns can be likened to the Nagual (an Aztec term used to describe the Guardian Spirit of Man – while emphasizing his animal characteristic and nature. Thus the term Nagual Mask is used to describe this modern style of mask.
The Nagual Masks are made exclusively to dance “La Mascarada” – the Dance of the Masks – during the annual Día de Los Muertos Festival in Mesa, Arizona.
The masks are first modeled in clay and cast into durable light weight fiberglass and adorned with bull, goat horns or deer antlers. The fur is usually fox or sheep wool, recyled from previously used fur coats.
Because of this difficult conditions in using fiberglass, only 6 – 10 Nagual masks are produced in a year.