The mask in Mexican
politics and culture

Lourdes Grobet

The mask occupies a very unique place throughout Mexican culture. It's not limited solely to festivities and religious celebrations. As I worked on my photographic project on the wrestlers in Mexico, this became increasingly evident. That is why this work is centered around Blue Demon, the wrestler, and the prehispanic head from Cholula. They become like the point of the arrow which lead us to understand the diversity of myths surrounding the mask.

In fact it is the wrestlers in Mexico, that have brought the symbol of the mask into modernity within our culture. There is no distance anymore between it's daily use from a practical point of view, and it's most profound references.

The mask beckons the myth and the masked person reveals the hidden message. We don't have to travel far to prove this point. In Chiapas the hooded population carry with them the implicit protection of the Zapatista struggle. In Mexico City, a masked priest maintains financially an entire orphanage with his wrestling matches.

Our history also has in it's traditional politics, the "hooded one" representing the candidate that is chosen by the outgoing President. While all over the country, dancers regain and re enact the struggles of resistance and their old traditions.

In Mexico, politics and culture, rites and survival are condensed in the symbol of the mask.

Lourdes Grobet

Lourdes Grobet lives and works in Mexico City and can be reached at: