THE MASKS IN NEW SPAIN

The joy and love for the celebrations and shows joined together the conquerors and the conquered. The Masquerade was one of the most common amusements and it consisted in parade by foot or by horse of masked people who wore showy costumes. They represented different characters, historical, mythological, or biblical or they embodied fictional characters also. The show could be one of either two ways: wearing the mask seriously, of solemn character or wearing the mask to the mockery, with ridiculous characters.

The second one was the most popular, since it allowed to satirize the authorities and to make fun of disliked functionaries. The masquerade had its point of democratic character to a certain degree, since all social groups participated, although they did it separately. The noble knights dazzled everyone with their equestrian skills, the merchants showed off their best fineries and gave important financing for the show, and the Indians accompanied their masters with singular costumes, where the European style was mixed with their own. The blacks and the caste groups paraded in their own masquerades. The entertainment was not limited to the celebrations of secular type, since this celebration took part in religious parties. In general the masquerades constituted a healthy social development and a healthy way of amusement for colonial life.

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