For most of us, Halloween is about costumes, masks, parties and “trick or treat.”
Put on a costume and a mask, and you become someone else – a witch, a celebrity, a super-hero – an animal, a plant or even an inanimate object. You can be funny, smart, ugly or frightening. After all, no one knows who’s behind the mask.
How we celebrate Halloween has its origins in Europe. But in Latin America, celebrations with masks, costumes, and dances began long before Europeans arrived in the New World. Historians believe the Mayans, Aztec and Zapotec created masks way back in 2000 BC. They used them in festivals and religious ceremonies to ask their gods for good weather, good crops and a good life. They used them in their story-telling, in battle and their priests wore them to impersonate the gods.
After the Spanish Conquest, Catholic priests co-opted the indigenous dances and masks in their religious ceremonies to facilitate conversions to Christianity. They incorporated mask dances in their celebrations of Carnaval, Holy Week and the Day of the Dead (November 1 and 2).
Hand-carved and painted wood masks were used to represent men and women, Christian icons, the devil, crazy people, death and animals – including bats.Some masks are large. Others are small. Some are primitive and dark. Others are realistic and bright. They all have one thing in common: it’s hard to take your eyes off them.
See for yourself.
“Bat Masks of Mexico” Exhibit will be at “The W” coffee shop in Warren, Minnesota for two weeks only: October 24 through November 5. The masks are on loan to Agassiz Audubon Society for the exhibit, which is sponsored by “The W,” True Value Hardware and the Warren Sheaf. Kids are welcome in costume on Halloween. Paper masks are available for the first 100 kids to decorate with crayons and take home.
When: October 24th to November 5th
7:30am to 6pm weekdays, Saturdays 9am -3pm,
Where: “The W” Coffee Shop
115 W. Johnson Ave, Warren MN 56762
Contact: Heidi Hughes, Agassiz Audubon Society, 218-745-5663
Diandra Lopez, “The W” coffee shop, 218-745-4001
(Se habla Espanol)
Cost: FREE – family friendly