Carved approximately 3000 years ago, this mask is an excellent example of the Olmec style, which is largely centered on the depiction of human faces and figures, sometimes with supernatural or animal attributes such as markings and fangs. Jaguar and dragon elements appear frequently because of these beings' special strength and abilities, and can be found incised around the eyes and mouth of this mask.
The incisions above the right eye depict a face incorporating elements of both human and feline, the were-jaguar. The mouth is enclosed by an upside-down u, which is the mark of the dragon god and is specifically linked to kingship and power. Within the space defined by the u, over the lips, is a cross, also part of the dragon motif, plus four dots, which represent maize seeds. These appear with a bar, incised on the chin, and are tied to the four cardinal directions, of essential importance to this culture and symbolic of the ruler's ability to unify the cosmos and provide for his people. This mask is likely a portrait of a specific ancient leader.