Fabulous Chancay Wood Mummy Mask

Winning Bid: $600

Pre-Columbian, Central Coast Peru, Chancay, ca. 800 to 1200 CE. A fabulous anthropomorphic mummy mask carved from coffee-brown wood. The mask has a wide profile with smooth cheeks, a sharply-angled jaw line, a prominent nose, and shallow nasolabial folds. Enormous diamond-shaped eyes boast white-painted sclera and pierced pupils which perhaps at one time housed additional ornamentation. Drilled mortises around the periphery suggest this mask was secured to the head of a deceased person during a funerary ritual. The sober visage and generic features are part of the traditional mask style for adorning the mummified bodies, as they were not intended to be portraits, but rather a stylized representation of the human face for important individuals as a mark of their elite status. After death, status as deity was often bestowed upon these people and the mask was thought to become their permanent face. Size: 6.8″ W x 7.2″ H (17.3 cm x 18.3 cm); 10.5″ H (26.7 cm) on included custom stand.