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Mask

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Portrait-like, life-sized mask of jadeite. The stone's gray color results from its having been subjected to fire, likely as part of an ancient rite, the burning of offerings being typical Mesoamerican ritual behavior. The function of these life-sized masks is uncertain, but theories include...

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Provenance

1970, acquired by Alphonse Jax, New York; 1971, sold by Jax to Landon T. Clay, Boston; 1991, year-end gift of Landon Clay to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 22, 1992)

Credit Line

Gift of Landon T. Clay

Olmec, Middle Formative period, 900–600 B.C.

Object Place

Río Pesquero area, Veracruz, Mexico

Dimensions

21.59 cm (8 1/2 in.)

Accession Number

1991.968

Medium or Technique

Jadeite with black inclusions

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Masks