Why so few carnival masks in Santa Cruz Tenerife?

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Try find carnival masks in Tenerife shops... It's not easy.



In 2017 i discovered some at the new Tenerife Carnival museum which changes some exhibitions yearly, by the way.

Depicted above is my favorite. It was done with acrylics together with some other material.

Many masks are sold for the German carnival. In Cologne for instance, many of almost 1 million parade spectators use them. Do they like to hide their identity during carnival?

Well,  below a nude lady on a another Santa Cruz poster tried to hide it that way. Generally, the clown-like Murga are occasionally seen with eye covers but,  there may be others.

Ever heard of the beautiful Venice carnival of masks?

Venice had some historic incidents  which some would prefer to forget, contrary to the Santa Cruz Tenerife Carnaval where the Reina de Carnaval only covers the  most private parts of herself.

Yet, nobody seems to mind, when manners get out of hand during disguise days in Venice.

Coming to think of it, a Venetian mask renders something very morbid to a face, while the white painted Geisha of Japan has still something human about her.

However, lavish costumes are created by immense artistic talent in Venice. Its flair  with or without masks is simply unimaginable.

Tyrants, jokes and disguise.

Germany had its lengthy Napoleonic occupation, way back, while Spain and Tenerife had a military dictator more recently. Both tyrants disliked or feared carnival, jokes and disguise.

Nowadays, carnival in all those locations is booming.

Mind Tenerife carnival didn't recover full steam until General Franco's death in 1975.

At some stage, hiding behind masks could have brought imprisonment for them.

Nevertheless later on, private Tenerife carnivals were celebrated with hooded Ku Klux Klan like costumes. No face could be seen.

Hooded, masked Easter processions.

Note that such gear wasn't really taken out to the public.

By the way, the same outfit is also part of some Spanish Easter traditions which isn't only normal in Easter church processions in La Laguna but also in Puerto de la Cruz.  By the looks of it, the Catholic church has its own rules for masks.

Admire a typical Tenerife Carnival princess with tons of masquerading gear all around little covered flesh.

It is an honest way of showing off good looks during carnival.

Besides, all Spanish girls and boys are praised as beautiful from childhood onward by family and friends.

Why shouldn't they show body and face?

Yet, men hardly do. They also don't wear carnival masks.

By the way, an exception is the gay parade Mascarita Ponte-talon.

There, discover some courageous guys who wear mini skirts or even beach outfits in streets at night.

Meantime wigs of all types are highly popular.

See an eye mask called Colombana Carnaval depicted on your right...

It was bought in Tenerife and stood the test of time.


Carnival masks, cellular phones and ETA terrorism threat.

Also, wouldn't you feel uneasy that Spanish terrorists with masks like the ETA from the north could hurt you? This is rather a threat for mainland Spain but might have discouraged production as well as imports of masks.

In case you bought yourself a cheap cellular telephone in 2011 for about €30 with €12 credit on it, don't forget that you must register it with your passport in your name, as it is seen as just as dangerous as a carnival mask, because of these so called "outlaws". They are feared to hide behind stolen smartphones. Your phone might be cut if you don't comply within one week.

Click here to see some carnival costumes where a most stunningly disguised girl with an eye mask called Colombana is part of a photo gallery.



Return from carnival masks to Tenerife attractions carnival to discover all about it and find updated agendas of its street shows in the major cities.

In June 2014, I saw many masks at a British museum. They were very beautiful and I would have loved to learn what they were all about. So here's an alternative aspect by a UK museum, as follows.

About masks that connect with spirit worlds






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