This stone face mask was carved and polished from mottled pale green stone and depicts abstract facial features similar to what scholars call Sultepec-style masks. This mask also features a deeply drilled rounded mouth, flattened head, prominent and triangular nose, and indentations for eyes indicative of Mezcala-style influence. Face panels similar to this example were found associated with burials. Closely related to Chontal-style sculpture, Sultepec masks have typically been found in burial sites, leading most scholars to associate them with symbolism and beliefs connected to the afterlife.
A great deal remains unknown about Mezcala-Chontal-Sultepec traditions originating in what is now the Mexican state of Guerrero due to a lack of archaeological excavation and analysis. However, recent interest in such extraordinary abstract and new excavations are helping academics piece together greater knowledge about these remarkable traditions and their context within the broader Mesoamerican world.
[Throckmorton Fine Art, New York, NY];
The Jan T. and Marica Vilcek Collection, 2008-2010;
Gift to The Vilcek Foundation, 2010;