Alcohol, religion and face masks all have something in common. Along with a select handful of other cultural aspcts. They have been invented independently by virtually every ancient civilisation, for as far back as can be observed. I’ve picked up a few tacky and overpriced masks myself, from street vendors around the world, to take home as souvenirs of my travels. Masks are a very important part on ancient Mexican culture, with the Aztecs often painting the faces of their gods on to masks, to be used in religious ceremonies.
Some would say the mask is still in good use in Mexico today, but in a less physical sense. Mexicans can be very two faced. But this is true of every nation and nationality. I mean, how can the stereotypical British male be renowned for having a stiff upper lip in public, and a desire for dressing up in ladies underwear to be spanked behind closed doors? I will at this point, if the stereotype is true, assert that I am sometimes very un-British. Don’t drink tea, don’t binge drink and smash up the town and I definitely don’t dress up in knickers and bras. Although there was this one time, on a night out back in the 80’s….but that’s another story. Anyway, I blame this stereotype on the Carry On films, although David Beckham hasn’t helped much either with his lingerie revelations.
But today, for most of us, the colourful masks are museum pieces, to be looked at and admired. The Museo de Franz Mayer has a pretty big exhibition on at the moment, with face masks of every style, colour and creature imaginable. I took a few photos (click here) to give you a blief glimpse inside the walls of the Franz Mayer. But if you’re in the area, it’s worth popping in – it’s one of the nicest museums in the city.