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False Head for Burial Bundle or Mummy Mask

Arts of the Americas

The Oculate Being is depicted on this Paracas funerary mask, which was filled with cotton padding to give it a rounded appearance and was probably sewn to the outer wrapping of a mummy bundle. The mask also shows a pair of facing felines and double-headed serpents, creatures that represent power, perhaps to give the deceased potent attributes.

El Ser Oculado está representado en esta máscara funeraria Paracas, la cual tenía un forro de algodón para darle una apariencia redondeada y estaba probablemente cosida a la envoltura externa de un fardo funerario. La máscara además muestra un par de felinos enfrentados y serpientes bicéfalas, criaturas que representan poder, quizás para otorgarle al muerto atributos poderosos.
CULTURE Paracas Ocucaje
MEDIUM Cotton, pigments
DATES 100 B.C.E. – 1 C.E.
PERIOD Paracas Ocucaje 10
DIMENSIONS 13 1/2 x 7 1/4 x 3 in. (34.3 x 18.4 x 7.6 cm) warp (woven part): 9 13/16 in. (25 cm) unwoven warps, more than: 11 13/16 in. (30 cm) weft: 7 1/2 in. (19 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
CREDIT LINE Henry L. Batterman Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Mummy mask of woven cotton, filled with cotton padding, and painted with features of the Oculate Being, two felines, and three double-headed snakes. Size: adult. Probable wearer: likely male. Vertical cotton warp. Cotton weft. Plain weave, predominantly warp-faced. Pigments with binding medium, hand-drawn.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Paracas Ocucaje. False Head for Burial Bundle or Mummy Mask, 100 B.C.E. – 1 C.E. Cotton, pigments, 13 1/2 x 7 1/4 x 3 in. (34.3 x 18.4 x 7.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Henry L. Batterman Fund, 41.428. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 41.428_PS6.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 41.428_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2012
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