Photo copyright Cheryl Fisher/Courtesy of Tohono Chul Park, A Yaqui carver paints a wooden mask. Tribal carvings are being displayed for 10 months beginning this Saturday, July 11, at Tohono Chul Park.

Yaqui carvings of wooden faces form a new show opening Saturday, July 11, at Tohono Chul Park.

"Yaqui Carving: Generations of Wooden Faces" is displayed in the Wells Fargo Foyer Gallery through May 2010.

It features selections from the park's permanent collection, together with items loaned by local collectors, carvers and photographers, a release said.

The exhibit focuses on the masks carved for the Yaqui ceremonial dancer known as Pascola (pah'kola). The pascola, whose name translates to "old man of the fiesta," is characterized by the mask he wears and the function he performs. "His job is to draw a crowd and officially begin each ceremony; he will also dance, clown around, and tell stories to the crowd throughout the night."

The pascola's most distinctive trait, his mask, represents a woodcarving tradition that has been passed down for centuries, first as an important part of the ceremonial year and, as seen more recently, as artistic works of art. Generations of Wooden Faces features the work of several Yaqui artists, including the celebrated Martinez family: Frank, Feliciana, Eddie and Frankie, noted carver Louis David Valenzuela, Mexican-American artist Arturo Montoya and others.

Yaqui Carving: Generations of Wooden Faces

July 11, 2009-May 2010

9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays – Saturdays

Wells Fargo Gallery at Tohono Chul Park

7366 N Paseo del Norte

There is no additional charge to enter the Galleries at the Park

Park admission is $7 adults, $5 seniors and active military, $3 children (5-12)

Free to members and children under 5

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