Grand rising fam...Some more acrylic work on canvas
"Vejigante de la gente"
A vejigante is a folkloric character in Puerto Rican festival celebrations (mainly seen in Carnival time). Traditional colors of the Vejigantes were green, yellow, and red or red and black. Today, Vejigantes wear brightly colored, ornate masks corresponding to the colors of their costumes that detail bat-like wings. The term vejigante derives from the words vejiga (bladder) and gigante (giant) due to custom of blowing up and painting cow bladders. The masks are often linked to festivals that continue today, especially in Loíza and Ponce.
In the 12th century, the patron saint of Spain, St. James the Apostle, was believed to have led the Catholic militia in battle against the Moors. On his saints day, when people celebrated the victory, the vejigante represented the defeated Moors.
By the 17th century, it was typical to see processionals in Spain in which vejigantes were demons meant to terrify people into going back to church. Hence, there are references of vejigantes in Cervantes' Don Quixote written in 1605. Back then, the vejigante symbolized the Devil in the battle between good and evil.
In Puerto Rico, this processional took on a new face because of the African and Taíno influence. Taínos were believed to be excellent mask makers. Vejigante masks are usually meant to look scary.
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