This black, dotted, papier-mâché mask, known as the Veijgantes Mask, is the best souvenir I could have gotten on our trip to Puerto Rico. I was so determined to come home with one even though they can be super expensive.
The Vejigantes Mask is a traditional mask worn during Carnival celebrations, usually with wings (fake wings that look like bat wings) and noise makers made from cow bladders filled with seeds.
The word “vejigantes” is a mixture between the words for bladder and giant because of the cow bladders the costumed people carry.
See Related: A Day in San Juan, Puerto Rico
The masks are typically bright in color, often polka dotted, and have any number of horns. The size and elaborateness of the piece determines the price.
You can pay anywhere from about $20 (which was the cheapest we saw anywhere in San Juan) up to whatever your heart desires. Each piece is made by hand by local craftsmen.
See Related: 5 Reasons Why We LOVE to Cruise!
There are two main types of vejigantes masks- the papier-mâché version or the coconut shell version. Mine is papier-mâché and is only slightly too small to fit my face. I only wanted it for decoration purposes anyway.
The other determining factor for me, besides size, on which mask to purchase was how sturdy it looked. I needed this guy to be packed into a suitcase and make it back to Mississippi! As you can see, mission accomplished!
See Related: Cats in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
There are certainly plenty to choose from in souvenir shops in all different colors, shapes, and price ranges. If you would like to read more, check out the Vejigantes Wikipedia Article or The Story Behind the Vejigante Mask of Puerto Rico.
DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you make a purchase through these links with no change in price for you.
Ready to explore Puerto Rico? Book a toor!
Are you planning a trip to Puerto Rico? Will you be adding the Vejigantes Mask to your shopping list? Have you visited Puerto Rico? What is your favorite souvenir? Let us know in the comments below!