South America

Animal mask of Amazon Indians

Q:  This was gift from a friend  (no longer here) of my husband’s. I have seen nothing similar on the web. I know nothing about it. It appears to be a bat representation. The material may be gourd with raffia.  Amy, 1272

A:   Your mask probably represents an owl. The Piaroa-Huarime Indians who live in the Northern Amazon region (close to the Orinoko River) use masks that mimic many different creatures. The black coating is actually a kind of wax. This is a beautiful example of one I’ve not seen before. It’s condition is perfect. Where do you think your husband’s friend got it?  A

One Comment

  • Amy Powell

    The mask was probably bought by his friend who lived on the coast in Venezuela for a few years a number of years ago. This man now lives in San Diego, and I have texted him for more information, but haven’t heard back yet.

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