This is the fourth largest collection of Mexican masks in the United States; this collection was assembled by William J. Breitenbach between 1968 -2004. The masks, which represent human faces, animal faces, or skulls are constructed of wood, ceramic, paper mache or leather. Most are brightly painted in a polychrome technique, some with incredibly detailed designs. Many are enhanced with quills, fur, hair, teeth, fabric, or wool.
These masks were used in festivals such as:
- Cinco de Mayo
- Semana Santa (Holy Week)
- Los Dias de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
- Danza de Moros e Cristianos (Dance of the Moors and Christians)
- Danza el Borrgo Cimarron (Dance of the Wild Sheep)
- Danza de Parachicos (Dance of the Parachicos)
- Danza de Tigres (Dance of the Jaguars)
- Carnival de Huejotzingo (Carnival of Huejotzingo)
Breitenbach traveled throughout the nation of Mexico. He bought masks from well-known mask makers, undiscovered artists, and apprentices, giving his collection great variety.
Mexican states represented in the collection include:
- Vera Cruz