South America

Art from the Amazon jungles

Amazon Indian
Amazon Indian

Q: I visited the Canaima area of Venezuela in March 1991 and not far from the airstrip I bought the attached mask in a small village. I was told it was a monkey spirit mask and was used for a ‘wedding type ceremony’ by the Pemon Indians. This was one of two masks (the other being a real monkey skull) made of reed covered in a plaster, straw hair and real monkey teeth.The mask looked used when purchased.  Paul, 458

A: That is a handsome piece, and a bit different from the similarly constructed masks of the nearby Piaroa-Huarime people. Your Pemon mask’s well-sculpted monkey head is more realistic than anything I’ve seen from that part of the Venezuelan jungle. I would think anyone collecting the material culture of Amazon Indians would be very interested in this fine mask. Take a look at the animal spirit mask of the Piaroa-Huarime people on the So American section of MasksoftheWorld.  A


  • Dawood Albannai

    I believe that it is great to visit some jungles in Venezuela , I know that there are risks and a lot of dangers , but your adventurous souls is enough. that handsome monkey piece is wonderful , Bob keep doing these great risky trips and I will wish to you a good luck .

  • James Goodreau

    What a great website. Each time I visit I’m thankful that someone cares as much about Masks as you do. Yes you sell them, however, the Photo inquires and yours, and others comments are great. I have a few masks mostly Mexican.
    Again thank you

  • Quartz

    It is a very unusual Piaroa mask.
    I am a collector of Piaroa mask that I want to donate to an Italian ethnographic museum.
    Have you any interest in selling it?
    Thanks in advance

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