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These masked dancers are Tarascan Indians taking part in one of the many annual festivals held in their southwestern Mexican state of Michoacan. They are dressed as viejitos, or respected elders. Their dance, which concerns the struggle between the viejitos, representing beauty and order, and the feos, representing ugliness and chaos, is a Christmastime ceremony that celebrates the initiation of the officers of the coming year's festivals. Masks like these, and other ceremonial art, are included in the Scholl Museum of Folk Culture's inaugural exhibition, "Fiestas of San Juan Nuevo," running through March 4. The museum, which is located in the Old Town School of Folk Music, at 909 W. Armitage, is open 2 to 7:30 PM Tuesday and Thursday, 11 AM to 9 PM Wednesday, 11 AM to 3 PM Saturday, or by appointment. There is no admission charge but a donation is requested; more information is available at 525-7793.

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