Mexican Masks Unmasked

Mexican masks reveal tradition of transformation, art and spiritual awakening

Mexican masks reveal tradition of art and spiritual awakening

Editor's note: CultureMap is proud to present the third installment of our partnership with KLRU Collective. Collective is dedicated to finding unique, creative and interesting stories about the Austin art scene.

When Austin's Mexic-Arte Museum exhibited more than 200 traditional Mexican masks earlier this year, they were displaying more than just art. According to legend, the masks (which have bright colors, exaggerated features and intricate carvings) serve as a window into the soul and are said to transform the spirit of the person who wears it.

In this video from KLRU, revisit the collection and learn how the masks blend pageantry, mythology and tradition. Used in both celebration and for religious purposes, the masks serve as a inspiration for contemporary art and are fascinating feature of Mexican history.

For more information on the Mexic-Arte Museum's current exhibits including a retrospective on the life of Jose Guadalupe Posada, please visit their website.

KLRU-TV, Austin PBS is dedicated to telling stories about our community. KLRU highlights what makes Austin unique – whether music, arts or public issues – by creating and distributing award-winning original content. As a nonprofit educational organization, KLRU also helps prepare children for success and creates lifelong learning opportunities for all. Find out more at

Mexican masks Mexic-Arte Spring Exhibit
Those who don the masks are said to undergo a transformation. Photo by KLRU