South America

Old Peru wood mask

Peru or Bolivia
Peru or Bolivia

Q:  What are your thoughts on this mask from Peru? Wood, chiseling, and depth all seem rather unique and not similar to what I normally see in other countries. I am surprised to think Peru has animals on the front of their masks like Mexican masks might. This one is claimed to be from the 1850s, but nothing about the string, or patina on the mask would attest to this. Does not seem like its a used mask, or an antique.  Nate, 726

A:  Nate, I’m amazed at how you continue to find interesting masks. This is definitely Peruvian or NW Bolivia in style. It’s sort of unusual because the use of carved wood is declining. Most contemporary masks from the region are made of papier mache, clay or composite materials, probably because good wood is scarce nowadays. The photo of the rear was sharp and it looked to me like the the mask might be old and have been used a few times before it was collected. Here is a more recent Peruvian mask of the same style.  A

One Comment

  • Robert

    Hello! I am looking for a place online where masks like these are sold..mostly … low value ones but where is a good resource to search for masks from around the world?

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