Permanent Collection Catalogue Available
Peru, South Coast, Paracas (Cavernas) style (700 BC-AD1), 300 B.C. to A.D. 1
ceramic, resin-based paint, Overall: 23.6 x 22.5 x 13.2 cm (9 1/4 x 8 13/16 x 5 3/16 in.). Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 2003.39
This rare mask incarnates a supernatural being who may have been the patron of an early fertility cult on Peruâ€™s south coast. Its traits insinuate power, especially the stuck-out tongue and the serpents that slither over the face to form a halo-like corona. Unexplained are the shape of the nose and the small figure wearing a similar mask. The mask could have served as the face of a mummy bundle or an object; the projecting eyes might rule out use by a living performer.
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