Mask of the Sun God, Kinich Ahau

Early Classic Period, Maya Culture, c. 100 B.C.–A.D. 350


Gift of Dr. Robert L. Drapkin and Chitranee Drapkin


The Maya, a sophisticated civilization characterized by a written language, and monumental architecture, also crafted funerary masks that were associated with the interactions between divine forces that regulated the world from whom mortal rulers derived their power. This jade mask depicting Kinish Ahau the sun god, displays the Maya preference for exuberant, curvilinear relief. This ornament was worn by Maya nobles, and here denotes the king’s heavenly authority.

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