Description This mask is a fine example of stone carving from the Late Formative or Late Preclassic period. Guerrero, the region from which the piece probably comes, is known for a wide variety of sculptural styles including Mezcala and Chontal. Ancient sculptors usually carved "tecalli," also called "alabaster" or aragonite, a calcium carbonate stone found in caves. Though few masks from any ancient American culture have been excavated archeologically, it is thought that they were probably tied to the funerary bundles of the nobility. As with many Sulpetec masks, the large aquiline nose dominates the face when viewed in profile, but the subtle modeling of the cheeks and browline create a well-proportioned impression when viewed frontally.
Provenance Dr. Milton Leof, New York; Mr. John A. Stokes, Jr., New York, October 15, 1973, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 2001, by gift.
Credit Gift of Mr. John A. Stokes, Jr., 2001
Download Image Add to Collection Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Creative Commons License