About the Griffith Collection

Griffith’s collection consists of 58 masks: 53 pascola masks and 5 capakóbam masks from the Middle Río Yaqui from the Névome Indians. The vast majority of the masks in the collections were worn by pascola dancers in ceremonies. A few were commissioned from the carver by Griffith.

Most were collected at the end of the 1960s. Not all are from the Río Mayo area, however. Six pascola masks originated from the Mayos of the Río Fuerte region in Sinaloa and two from the Yoeme communities of Vicam Switch and Potam (Table 1; see Fig. 2.1 and 3.1). In addition he also recorded mask makers in those areas (Table 2). In 2005, James S. Griffith donated this collection to the Arizona State Museum.

Table # 1: Communities visited by Griffith

In Río Mayo:
Bácame Sonora
Bayáhori Sonora
La Bocana Sonora
Borobampo Sonora
Buaysiacobe Sonora
Campanichaca (Sahuaral) Sonora
Carrizal Sonora
Chapote Sonora
Dos Camotes Sonora
Embarcadero (Near Wiarumui) Sonora
Guayparín Sonora
Jitombrumui Sonora
Loma del Refugio (Near Navojoa) Sonora
San José de Masiaca Sonora
Navojoa Sonora
Pueblo Nuevo de Álamos Sonora
Sanial Sonora
San Ignacio (Near Navojoa) Sonora
Wiarumui Sonora
In Río Fuerte:
Garbanzos Sinaloa
La Florida Sinaloa
Mochicahui Sinaloa
San Miguel Zapotitlán Sinaloa
Teroque Sinaloa
In Río Yaqui:
Onavas (Névome/Pima Bajo) Sonora
Tónichi (Névome/Pima Bajo) Sonora
Vicam Switch (Yoeme) Sonora
Potam (Yoeme) Sonora

See a Mmap of Río Yaqui, Río Mayo and Río Fuerte areas
View Zoomable Map


Table # 2: Mask Makers recorded by Griffith

In Río Mayo:
Marcelo Alamea Loma del Refugio Sonora
Plácido Alamea Jitombrumui (abandoned) Sonora
Luciano Angwamea Bácame Sonora
Manuel Bacasegua Valenzuela Pueblo Nuevo de Álamos Sonora
Felipe Buitimea Bayáhori Sonora
Alcario Ca’ame’a Ontivero Wiarumui (near Huatabampo) Sonora
Tránsito Duarte Matus (outside) Navojoa on Huatabampo Rd. Sonora
Andrés Wokovatchi (pascola) (deceased) Babaru Sonora
Fernando Gonzalez Vicam Switch/Potam Sonora
Rosario Jilomeno Quillones Guayparín Sonora
Silvestre Lopez, “El Yori” Borobampo


Guadalupe (Lupe) Montañes (deceased). Dos Camotes (in the Sierra) Sonora
Benito Moroyoki Embarcadero Sonora
Brígido Moroyoki Buaysiacobe Sonora
Pedro Osimea (pascola) (died about 1947) El Rodeo Sonora
Escolástico Piña Masiaca Sonora
Acencio Valenzuela (pascola) (died in 1929-1930) Novolato  
Brígido Valenzuela Angwamea Guayparín Sonora
Alvaro Villanueva Sanial Sonora
Manuel Yocupicio Zamora San Ignacio (near Navojoa) Sonora
Candelario Verdugo La Bocana Sonora
In Río Fuerte:
Juan Bacasegua Garbanzos Sinaloa
Pedro Gonzalez La Florida Sinaloa
Felipe Ramos Mochicagui Sinaloa
Prudencio Vásquez San Miguel Zapotitlán Sinaloa
In Río Yaqui:
Maria Jesús Tecolote de Espinoza (Névome/Pima Bajo) Tónichi Sonora
Adolfo Oton (Névome/Pima Bajo) Tónichi Sonora
Evaristo Valenzuela (Névome/Pima Bajo) Onavas Sonora