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any paños depict "La Vida Loca," or " The Crazy Life," showing scenes of gang life, drug use and violence, as well as the harsh realities of life on the streets, poverty and prison. Symbolized by the masks of comedy and tragedy, the theme "Laugh Now, Cry Later" depicts the consequences of "La Vida Loca." Imagery reflecting prison life such as clocks, prison bars, hourglasses and watchtowers appears throughout these paños. Prisoners sometimes turn to religion as an alternative to "La Vida Loca," and some Paños contrast the two lifestyles side by side.


©1997 Museum of International
Folk Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico