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Elongated Mask Ornament

Elongated Mask Ornament

c. 900-300 BC

Greenstone

Overall: 13.8 cm (5 7/16 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James B. Wadhams in memory of Miss Helen Humphreys 1967.154

Description

Small masks made of precious media-especially greenstone, which Mesoamerican people valued above most other materials-likely served as elements of Olmec elite regalia. Such masks commonly depict human faces, although it is unclear whether the creature shown on this unusual example is human or supernatural. It may be a late work.

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