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Mexican masks follow a rich history among different Latino groups across Mesoamerica, including the Olmecas, Toltecas, Aztecas, and Purepechas peoples. The oldest mask ever discovered was that of a fossil of an extinct llama carved between 12,000 to 10,000 B.C. and altered to represent the head of a coyote. Pre-Columbians believed masks could allow a spirit to take possession of the body and allow the gods to communicate with humans through the mask.
Mexican and Latino masks were worn during ceremonial rituals thousands of years before the Spanish conquest. Many masks represented animal spirits and Gods for religious worship.
Current masks show the influence of the blending of pre-Hispanic deities with Christian saints brought to the Americas by Spanish priests who sought to convert the indigenous natives to Christianity. The mixture of cultures brought about completely new religious traditions over a period of several hundred years.
These categories represent the circuit of culture which occured when the Spanish conquest forced the indigenous culture to entirely change their way of life for a new culture to emerge.
Calaca latino and skeletons wear festive clothing with flowery hats decorated with marigold flowers and foliage and are usually shown, dancing, and playing musical instruments.
These color book images are suitable for Halloween, All Souls Day or Aztec and Latino Mexican crafts for fun child learning activity. Refer to the All Souls´ Day References and Resources for more