Object Record

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Catalog number 98.5
Title Feathered mummy bundle mask
Object Name Mask
Description This Huari mummy bundle mask served as the face covering for a mummified corpse. The iridescent orange, black, white, and blue feathers are systematically sewn onto a cotton backing to resemble human facial features. The feathered mask is topped with real human hair and wears a woven hat. The mask commands a strong presence. The complementary orange and blue feathers, as well as the contrasting black and white feathers delineating the teeth and eyes, endow it with a colorful dynamism. This piece integrates a wealth of distinct materials, including feathers, human hair, and cloth, into a unified work of art. Paradoxically, while the mask provides a significant aesthetic experience for its viewer, its function as a burial object implies that humans were not its principal audience. Indeed, the same can be said for many of the works of art on display in this exhibition, bringing us to an important element of Andean art as a whole. Its purpose went far beyond the realm of mere mortals. Works such as the Mummy bundle mask and others were intended to endow the deceased with fine goods for the afterlife.
Ananda Suarez Cohen, " Featherwork of Ancient Peru," in "Natural and Supernatural: Andean Textiles and Material Culture," (G -T M, Queens College, CUNY, February 14-June 1, 2006), 24.
Medium/Material Feathers, undyed natural fiber, hair
Dimensions H-11 W-9.5 inches
Year Range from 600.0
Year Range to 1000.0
Search Terms Mask
South America
Huari 600 - 1000 AD
7th century AD
8th century AD
9th century AD
10th century AD
11th century AD
Exhibition and Publication History "Variations on an Imperial Message: Wari Textiles in Perspective" by Jeremy George in "Natural and Supernatural: Andean Textiles and Material Culture," Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Queens College, CUNY, September 8 - October 24, 2009.
Culture Huari, Peruvian