Large gold mask, 900 – 1100 n. Chr. Mittleres Sicán

About the object

The mask made of beaten rolled gold had originally been painted red with cinnabar and decorated with (incomplete) pendants made of gold flake and gemstones, possibly also with feathers. Depictions of the so-called »Lord of Sicán« with protruding nose, large earrings and bulging »winged eyes« are typical of Sicán culture from the north coast of today's Peru. The eyes, which are reminiscent of birds' wings, are variously interpreted as a reference to Naylamp, a key figure in Sicán mythology and founder of the culture. The flat mask was attached to the mummy bundle of a member of the elite or placed next to him in the tomb. It may also have been used by its owner during his lifetime in religious rituals. The mask was purchased at the behest of the museum by the state of Baden-Württemberg and placed on permanent loan.

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