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While searching for subjects and topics for color book masks I stumbled upon some pretty stunning Mexican handcraft and sun artworks. I thought they would make for some cool (or should I say hot) masks for my visitors.
The sun is the source of Earth's warmth and holds a prominent place in folk art and mask art subjects. These sun masks are perfect for celebrations and cultural holidays such as Cinco de Mayo.
I've looked high and low for official source of information that may explain when and where these sun images began but it seems while they are super popular, there is little information about their origins.
I am going to go out on a limb and suggest their origins are rooted in Aztec traditions as these people had not just one, but several sun gods: Tezcatlipoca (smoking mirror), Quetzalcoatl (feathered serpent), Tlaloc, a god of rain, Chalchiuhtlicue (lady of the jade skirts), Nanauatl and Tonatuih. The face on the Aztec calendar stone is that of Tonatuih.
The Native-American Pueblo cultures such as the Hopis and Zûnis of Arizona, also have the Tawa Sun katsina in their stories and legends. I found a little bit of information about the sun art in Crayola Crayon's craft pages.
Metapec sun ceramics are made out of baked clay. Mexican talavera suns are mainly decorative art to hang on walls. Both types are decorated with bright and vibrant colors.
Use these images in the classroom for educational aids and activities to teach about the solar system and how the sun influenced this great folk art style. Make lesson plans for Clay Sun Faces.