Carnival Mask

Carnival Mask

Carnival celebrations featuring performers dressed as devils are found across Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America. The presence of these characters during Carnival is understood by many as an ancient reference to the contest between good and evil. This devilish mask shows the characteristic style of its maker, Leonardo Pagán. Born in 1929, Pagán was the student of a renowned mask maker, Juan Careta, who worked from the 1890s until the 1950s. After his mentor's death, Pagán masks became highly prized. Pagán died in 2000.
Description (Spanish)
Las celebraciones de carnaval durante las cuales se observan individuos disfrazados de diablos son comunes en Puerto Rico y el resto de América Latina. Muchos interpretan la presencia de estos personajes durante el Carnaval como una antigua referencia a la contienda entre el bien y el mal. Esta máscara diabólica representa el estilo característico de su creador, Leonardo Pagán. Nacido en 1929, Pagán fue estudiante del renombrado artesano de máscaras, Juan Careta, cuyo trabajo se extendió desde la década de 1890 hasta la de 1950. Luego de la muerte de su mentor, las máscaras de Pagán se volvieron muy preciadas. Pagán falleció en el año 2000.
Object Name
carnival mask
Date made
Pagan, Leonardo
Place Made
Puerto Rico: Ponce, Ponce
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
papier mache (overall material)
paint (overall material)
overall: 43.6 cm x 34.7 cm x 27.5 cm; 17 3/16 in x 13 11/16 in x 10 13/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Teodoro Vidal
Puerto Rico
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Ethnic
Cultures & Communities
Artifact Walls
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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