This stone face mask has been carved and polished from a stone compound that is also the source of talcum powder and plastics today. Here it has been shaped into a realistic human face by an unknown and expertly skilled Mexica artisan (or artisans). The figure has on a headdress, helmet, or other head covering, perhaps displaying social status as these were highly regulated in Mexica society. The figure also has earplugs and gazes forward serenely, while the eyes, perhaps originally inlaid with precious metal or stone such as obsidian, along with the prominent nose and mouth, are realistically carved.
Face masks such as this were often worn either during rituals at particular times of the year by political and religious figures or were buried with the dead. The holes in the earplugs of this stone face mask would have allowed it to be fastened to a person’s face, though given the size and weight of this particular object it is more likely it was created specifically for a burial setting to accompany the deceased to the afterlife.