Beat-up Guatemalan still here

Animal mask
Animal mask

Q: I purchased this mask from a small auction house here in England a few years ago.  It measures approx 14 inches by 6 1/2. It is of zoomorphic form and appears to have been painted at some time. At the top of the mask there appears to have been a hood attached and you can see where this has split out above the two larger holes there is only a tiny tuft still threaded through from the centre hole. I also think it may have had ears at some stage. carved from a heavy hard wood. .Any info would be great. Thanks, Robert, 624

A: Thanks for working so hard on the photos. (I worked as well.) So finally I can tell you it is a Guatemalan animal mask that could have been used in the Dance of the Deer Hunt. Unfortunately, it is not well carved and was left outside where it was further ruined. Since then there has been some antiquing and it has acquired a bit of primitive charm. Incidentally, this is frequently done to African masks before they are sold to tourists.

Old, well used Guatemalan masks look much different than this. You can see some of them on this site.  C

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