HUMAN MASK

TEOTIHUACAN

450-750 AD

H : 20,5 cm – W : 17 cm – D : 9,7 cm
White, beige and green translucent alabaster.

The elongated face presents an oval shape, with curved edges, and is characterized by stylized features. The mouth with fleshy lips is open. The nose is straight, hi swings are engraved and the nostrils are hollowed out. The almond-shaped eyes are hollowed out. The eyebrows are in relief. The arches of the eyebrows are marked and join the root of the nose and merge with the receding forehead. The ears are salient and the lobes perforated. The back of the mask is convexe and a suspension hole was made above each ear.

This mask, with its idealized features and serene expression, reflects the peak the Teotihuacan civilization, set between 450 and 750 A.D. This civilization owes its name to the famous archaeological site of Teotihuacan, literally meaning “The birthplace of the gods”. Of agrarian origin, it managed to impose its hegemony throughout Mesoamerica by increasing its influence in political, religious and artistic fields. Concerning art, two types of creations are characteristic of its peak: the building of big architectural complexes and the creation of masks made of stone, just like the one we present here. These masks, most of them of human size, have suspension holes in order to be fixed on wooden statues then used for ritual ceremonies. Most of them were found in votive hidden places near or inside religious buildings.