300 BC-AD 1 (Thermoluminescence date, 835 BC-AD 185)
Ceramic, resin-based paint
Overall: 23.6 x 22.5 x 13.2 cm (9 5/16 x 8 7/8 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 Peru’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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