Tocuaro, Michoacan, Mexico
Felipe Horta, is a celebrated maskmaker, one of four in his village Tocuaro, Michoacán, México.
Felipe began carving at the age of 12 by watching his father, Eustacio Horta, carve. His father learned from a man in the village who is now 95 years old.
Felipe's masks are used for decorative purposes as well as in local, traditional dances. He primarily uses Copilillo (indigenous to Michoacan, a.k.a. Copal) and Avocado wood in his carvings.
Since 1992 Felipe has traveled to Phoenix, Arizona and Bozeman, Montana to give presentations in schools and to participate in Día de Los Muertos festivals. As of October 2006, he has added San Francisco, California and Milwaukee, Wisconsin to his tourhe gave presentations in schools and libraries in the SF Bay Area and was a featured vendor at several Bay Area Día de Los Muertos festivals. Five of his masks are included in the Zacatecas Museum, which is known worldwide for its collection of traditional masks. The Lonely Planet guides list his studio as one of the must-see destinations in Michoacan (under the name, "Felipe de Jesus Horta"). He is available to come to your school, library, museum, city...
He carves skull masks, devil masks, Spanish conqueror masks and masks representing typical people from the region where he lives.
Sometimes Felipe carves animals on the foreheads or other parts of the masks he carves very imaginative and detailed birds, serpents, lizards, frogs...
Felipe sells his masks in México, Arizona & in California.
He is married and has 4 children. Juan Carlos-20; Victor Hugo-18; Felipe-13; & Lisbeth-10.
SAMPLE MASKS: (Click on photos to enlarge)