Little terra cotta head

Q:  This mask is from my grandmothers collection. They think it’s from possibly Aztec or Mayan era. I have researched it have come up with nothing. Please let me know what you think.  Brandon, 879

A:  From the Pre-Columbian era of Latin America, this little head is not a mask, but served some other purpose. There were also full-size masks made of clay or stone from the same cultures that could be worn for ceremony or, in some cases, to decorate a corpse. These ancient, real masks are highly sought after by collectors. Occasionally they turn up on the market. But do be careful about their authenticity. Ceramic and even sculpted stone masks, along with many other artifacts, are frequently reproduced for the market. Some of them are so convincing that only a specialist can tell the difference.

One Comment

  • Gideon Volschenk

    I was given four of these little terra cotta heads in San Salvador a while ago and at the time was told that they were the handles of broken Mayan terra cotta pots.

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