ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

History of the Luchador Mask

Updated on July 20, 2015

A Luchador From Parts Unknown

Sometimes you just can't fight the urge to don the luchador mask!
Sometimes you just can't fight the urge to don the luchador mask! | Source

Luchador From Parts Unknown

I am a luchador from parts unknown. Not really, but I do own a luchador mask and a $5 poncho. For the longest time I have had a fascination with the Lucha Libre culture. In particular I was drawn to the mystique of the Mexican wresting masks worn by many luchadores.

Before we get into the significance of the mask it would be good to get a brief historical overview of Lucha Libre.

Historical Overview of Lucha Libre

Lucha Libre is a Spanish term when translated into English literally means "free fight". Even though the term was initially used to describe amateur free style wrestling it evolved into what is now known as the Mexican style of professional wrestling. Lucha Libre is known for a fast pace and high flying style of wrestling.

Professional wrestling had its origins in Mexico in the early 1900s, but it had a major breakthrough in 1933 with the formation of the Empresa Mexicana de la Lucha Libre (which has since changed its name to Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL)). Since that time not only has Lucha Libre become an important part of Mexican culture, but elements of Lucha Libre also went on to influence the development of North American and Japanese pro wrestling.

An important element of Lucha Libre is the wrestling mask. We will now examine the significance of the luchador mask.

Luchador Masks

A display of Luchador masks at a shop in Mexico.
A display of Luchador masks at a shop in Mexico. | Source

Importance of the Luchador Mask

Even though there have been many successful mask less luchadores, the luchador mask is a key element of the Lucha Libre culture. The wrestling mask has been worn since the early days of Mexican pro wrestling during the early 1900s. Historically the mask predates Lucha Libre wrestling. The masks can be traced back to the Aztecs. Just like with the Aztecs, the Lucha Libre masks symbolizes gods, animals, ancient heroes along with other well known Mexican archetypes. The luchadores that wear these masks take on these identities.

The mask becomes a badge of honor for the luchador. A luchador being stripped of his match is considered a shameful humiliation. Because of this many Lucha Libre matches revolve around the wrestler putting his mask on the line. At times this could involve mask vs. mask matches against two masks wrestler. At other times the matches can involve mask vs. hair which pits a mask luchador against an unmasked one. These matches are referred to as luchas de apuestas (which is translated as matches with wagers). In the world of Lucha Libre these matches take on an even higher profile than championship matches.

Since the masks become an important part of the luchador identity, the wearer will go great lengths to protect their identity. For example legendary luchador El Santo continued to wear his mask after retirement and he was buried wearing his famous silver wrestling mask.

Outside of wrestling, Lucha Libre and the Lucha Libre mask has had an impact on other forms of popular culture.

El Hijo De Santo vs Blue Demon Jr

El Hijo De Santo (son of El Santo, wearing his father's trademark mask) Vs. Blue Demon Jr.
El Hijo De Santo (son of El Santo, wearing his father's trademark mask) Vs. Blue Demon Jr. | Source

El Santo vs Blue Demon in Atlantis (Video)

Lucha Libre's Impact on Pop Culture

Lucha Libre's impact on Mexican pop culture is well documented. Lucha Libre was becoming so popular in Mexico that it spawned the Lucha film genre. The first luchador film is 1952's Huracán Ramírez.

One of the premier Lucha film stars was El Santo (in English, The Saint). Already a legend in the wrestling ring, El Santo ended up starring in 52 Lucha films. He also had a popular comic book based on him in 1952. He became a popular Mexican folk hero who fought for the downtrodden and oppressed.

Lucha Libre pop culture impact has expanded beyond Mexico. For example you have the 2006 Jack Black film, Nacho Libre along with the popular animated series ¡Mucha Lucha! You also have the popular American instrumental rock band Los Straitjackets, whose members all sport personalized luchador masks.

A big part of the appeal of the mask is the mystique. That is why the luchador mask has forever become an integral part of Mexican folklore.

Via la Lucha Libre!

Nacho Libre Movie Clip (Video)

© 2012 CJ Baker

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • spartucusjones profile imageAUTHOR

      CJ Baker 

      5 years ago from Parts Unknown

      LisaMarie, thanks for the read and the comment I am glad that you enjoyed!

    • LisaMarie724 profile image

      Lisa Stover 

      5 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      I always wondered about your mask, nice to have some back ground :) Your hubs are always so new and refreshing, great read.

    • spartucusjones profile imageAUTHOR

      CJ Baker 

      6 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Mhatter,Thanks for the read and the comment! It is greatly appreciated.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this... informative and entertaining.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)