The most important artistic mythical figures in Puerto Rico is the Vejigante. The Vejigante of Loiza and Ponce are an important tradition of mask making in Puerto Rico of African origin. The Vejigante represent the Moors. Loiza Mask is elaborate with the coconut shell and the Ponce Mask is elaborate with Papier Mache. With the time a religious syncretism was created in Puerto Rico in which black craftmen designed and made different type of masks that represented their many beliefs and deities. These managed to blend with Christian practice. Ponce Festival is in February, Loiza Festival is by the end of July.  

The masks that you will see here has been made by Lydia Perez with the purpose to use it with Yoruba 2 and her students in  Bomba and Plena Carnival.


The first Comparsa of Vejigante, 1998
 

LA COMPARSA DEL MAJA FROM RHODE ISLAND


We use masks for procession, theater, drama, and poems made by children


Vejigante of Ponce
In Ponce, beautiful, brightly-colored papier-mâché masks depict animals.

 
Culebra Tounge
Loiza and Ponce Mix
The Culebra Tounge has the characteristics of a Vejigante of Loíza, but was made with papier-mâché
 
 
 
 
EL CABALLERO
the Knight, represents the Spaniard
 
 
Mambru and Sarah
These masks depict Mambru, a soldier who has gone to war, and his bride, Sarah. When Mambru died during a battle, Sarah, still wearing her wedding dress, went mad with grief and died aswell. Legend says that if you see a woman dressed in a white wedding dress, weeping, in the middle of the night on a deserted road, RUN AWAY! She is the ghost of Sarah, still waiting for her husband and will take any soul she can!  These masks are used to tell their story to young children, as a way not to talk to strangers.
 
 
 
Ms. Duma, The Warrior
Ms. Duma represents the Warrior outside of the Island living in the USA.
 
 
The White Bird, The Spirit
The White Bird represents the Spirit  to reach your Goal in the diapora.
 

CABEZUDOS (Big head)
from Fiesta San Sebastian, San Juan, Capital of Puerto Rico
Mrs. Yaya
Mrs. Yaya represents "LA Bomba Puertorriqueña" in the United States.
Yaya from Creol/Kongo origins means
mothers who have helped shape the histories, traditions and legacies of resistance.

 
 
 
 
Students at Bryant University in the Comparsa del Maja
 
 
Masks made by Lydia Perez - Apprentices
Angel Sánchez - Master-Artisian
YEAR 9 (2006)

This program was possible by the Southern New England Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program and is founded by the National Endowment for the Arts, Bank of America, The institute for Community Research, the Rhode Island Council on the Arts, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.



 
 
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MASKS FROM PUERTO RICO
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MASKS FROM PUERTO RICO

CARIBBEAN ISLAND: Caribbean Island in Rhode Island is a program in which they engage children, youths, and parents in Caribbean culture, bringi Read more
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