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Mask: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
This stone mask represents one aspect of the Maya jaguar god. Such masks, often made of stone, wood or copper, were used in rituals by high-ranking members of society. Mask wearers were ceremonially transformed into the being portrayed and could interact with the spirit world. The jaguar god, one of the Mayas' most powerful deities, represented night, shadows, war, and sacrifice. He is identified by the three dots on each cheek of the mask, symbolizing the spots of a jaguar. Royalty used jaguar motifs and images on a variety of items, including clothing, jewelry, armor, and masks, to demonstrate their power and emphasize their relationship with the god.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: November 21, 2009