MASK REPRESENTING A DIGNITARY FACE

CHONTAL – Teotihuacan influence – GUERRERO – Mexico

350 – 100 B.C.

  • Hauteur : 25.7cm
  • Largeur : 21.5 cm
  • Epaisseur : 9.3 cm

Speckled green serpentine.

Mask representing a dignitary’s face attired with circular and removable earrings.

The face is squared and marked by accentuated jawbones. The open mouth shows the upper gum. The full lips are well drawn. The nose is straight and its wings are in relief. The bridge of the nose fits under the deeply marked eyebrows. The arches of the eyebrows create an area of shade that goes to the cheekbones, which contrasts with the barely hollowed-out eyes that are roughly handled. The cheekbones are slightly prominent. The rectangular ears are adorned with round earrings, hollowed at the center. The face is framed by a headdress composed of a double headband. A decorative line is engraved on the edge of the headband which is adorned with a rectangular medallion at the middle. Two suspending holes are located above the ears.

The Chontal culture, dated from 350 – 100 B.C., is, next to the Mezcala culture,one of the most representative artistic tradition from the State of Guerrero, in the south-west of Mexico. Its stone sculptures mainly represent masks or human figures. It differs from its Mezcala neighbor by its more naturalist style, visible into the realism of the facial features. The Chontal civilization remains unwell known and mysterious, but its stone sculptures fascinate with their sobriety and their pursuit of essentiality.

The mask we here present is exceptional by the realism and the fineness of its features. A great expressivity emerges from them, especially from the strength and the power of the look. Furthermore, the idealization of the face demonstrates an influence from Teotihuacan and makes this mask a truly particular example from the Chontal culture.