On View In:
Gallery 260
Artist:   Unknown  
Title:   Mask  
Date:   900-300 BCE  
Medium:   Jadeite, cinnabar  
Dimensions:   6 7/8 x 5 9/16 x 3 1/4 in. (17.46 x 14.13 x 8.26 cm)  
Credit Line:   The John R. Van Derlip Fund  
Location:   Gallery 260  

This mask was created about 3000 years ago, perhaps as a portrait of a leader among the Olmec people of Mesoamerica (present-day southern Mexico). It was likely reserved for ceremonial use or burial. An artist sculpted it from jadeite, then carved lines and highlighted them with a red mineral powder of mercury sulfide (cinnabar). These lines may replicate face paint or tattooing. The rare materials and symbolic designs, like the supernatural human-jaguar whose face hovers above the right eye, reflect the ruler's religious and political power.

Name:   Unknown  

Object Description  
Inscriptions:   Inscription On back at bottom in black: [AA 177]  
Classification:   Mask (Do Not Use)  
Physical Description:   human face with long ears; open mouth with teeth; red linear designs  
Creation Place:   Central America, Mexico, Gulf Coast region, Guerrero,  
Accession #:   2002.127  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts