Sultepec Culture, Modern-day Mexico, c. 500–100 B.C.


Gift of Dr. Robert L. Drapkin and Chitranee Drapkin


This black obsidian mask from the Sultepec culture, reportedly originated from what is now the Mexican state of Guerrero. Obsidian, like jade, was an important material for lithic art in Mesoamerica. This cultural group had no contact with Western Europeans and little is known about their origins. The mask came from a burial of a ruling elite. The triangular face is dominated by pecked out oval eyes and open mouth. The nose has been restored.

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