Henry Cervantes

Works on Display

Henry Cervantes, Illinois, USA Masks; Fabric, String, Elastic, and Plastisol Ink

Aztec Dance Ceremonial Child Face Masks

During the Covid-19 pandemic, I sewed red and white fabric, screen-printed, and home-cured ink for the Xochitl-Quetzal Aztec Dance group glyph logo on these ceremonial face masks. Xochitl-Quetzal (xo-chee ket-zal) means “precious flower feather” in the Nahuatl language and is the name of the female Aztec goddess of youth, beauty, and the arts. Red and white are Aztec dance traditional colors, and the flower glyph logo represents the sacred flowers and feathers used in ancestral ceremonies. During the pandemic, children and youth Aztec dancers used these custom face masks as part of traditional regalia to perform rituals and ceremonies.

Navigating the pandemic was extremely difficult. Our Aztec Dance cultural ceremonies provided space for healing and connection during this time. We documented this work in an effort to keep our traditions going in the midst of the global pandemic.

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