Detail View: The AMICA Library: Mask

AMICA ID: 
MIA_.99.3.1
AMICA Library Year: 
2001
Object Type: 
Sculpture
Creator Name: 
Maya
Creator Nationality: 
North American; Central American; Mexican
Creator Role: 
sculptor
Creator Name-CRT: 
Maya
Title: 
Mask
View: 
Front
Creation Date: 
about 250 - 600
Creation Start Date: 
250
Creation End Date: 
600
Materials and Techniques: 
stone
Dimensions: 
H.7-1/4 x W.7 x D.2-3/4 in. (without mount)
Component Measured: 
overall
Measurement Unit: 
in
AMICA Contributor: 
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: 
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: 
99.3.1
Credit Line: 
The Putnam Dana McMillan Fund
Inscriptions: 
STICKER
Rights: 
Context: 

This stone mask represents one aspect of the Maya jaguar god. Such masks, often made of stone, wood or copper, were used in rituals by high-ranking members of society. Mask wearers were ceremonially transformed into the deity portrayed and could interact with the spirit world. The lack of eyeholes on this mask may indicate that it was intended for a burial.

The jaguar god, one of the Mayas' most powerful gods, represented night, shadows, war, and sacrifice. He is identified by the three dots on each cheek of the mask, symbolizing the spots of a jaguar. Royalty used jaguar motifs and images on a variety of items, including clothing, jewelry, armor, and masks, to demonstrate their power and emphasize their relationship with the god.

Related Image Identifier Link: 
MIA_.7590c.tif