South America

Animal mask from the Amazon?

Q:  Found this mask at a local flea market this summer.  Didn’t pay much for it, or several others from the same guy.  I have not seen any like them before.  The top is an old cloth with a soft wood framework supporting it. Not counting all the raffia it is about 10 inches long by 7 inches wide.  Height is 5 inches.  I really got lucky at the flea market when I picked up these 9 great masks for under two hundred dollars.  Fred, 1236

A:  I’m going to guess and say this comes from the Piaroa-Huarime people who live along the Orinoko River in the northern Amazon basin. It might help if you would send a group photo of the other 8 masks. What we have now looks like an animal. What about the others? Is there one that looks like a capybara? Another like a tapir?  I know, I’m getting carried away. Let’s keep working on this. It is an authentic-looking mask made carefully with indigenous materials… and it might be very collectible. 

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