Carnival mask (Dominican Republic)

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Carnival mask (Dominican Republic)

This is a (miniature) carnival mask from the Dominican Republic, bought on Sosua beach in the only souvenir shop (stall) which didn't sell "made in China" souvenirs, but hand-crafted masks and pottery.

Usually, carnival masks are bigger, so that they can actually be worn and then cover the entire face. This one here is too small for that, it wouldn't even fit a child. It is purely for decorative purposes and consequently was given a place of honour in our living room.

The colours however are the traditionally used bright colours. Also the shape with its long, spiked horns and the duck-like bill is what you would see in a typical carneval parade. The masks tend to vary depending on the region and city the carneval is held.

This mask here belongs to the devils or "Lechones" characters, typical of Santiago (de los Caballeros). There are two different types of Lechones, one with spikey horns called "La Joya", the other with smooth horns called "Los Pepines". Lechones carry a whip and vejigas (nflated pig or cow bladders).

In order to see the Lechones and all the other carnival characters in action, February is the right time to visit the Dominican Republic.

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Dominican Republic


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