South America

Piaroa animal mask from the Orinoco R.

Q:  Can you tell me the origin of this mask and an approximate value.

Actually, most came from South America, but I know little else.  I live
in Miami and and was given these pieces over 20 years ago, and so do not know
the provenance.  I can take pictures of all of them should you wish.  I am downsizing
my living and won’t have space to keep them displayed.  Bruce, 1177
A:  This mask is from the Piaroa Indians who live in the Orinoco River basin that is on the border between Colombia and Venezuela, in the Northwest part of the Amazon area. There’s also a chance that it was made by the Spanish-speaking Pemon people who settled in that area more recently than the Piaroa. It is made of a wax and clay combination coated on bark cloth and stretched over a woven fiber frame. This mask represents an animal spirit (possibly a species of monkey) who can influence the outcome of a native ritual.
I do appraisals for a fee. The best I can do now is give this particular mask an A.

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