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Large Maya Triple Mask




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This mask, similar to ones found in pre Aztec ruins (Teotihuacan) and in Mayan ruins ( Tikal,  900AD ) shows how ancient Mesoamerican cultures viewed the differing stages of life as part of a cycle of human existence through life and then onto the afterlife.
     There are three layered faces, the inner one being birth was originally painted red to show freshness and health, the middle layer representing adulthood which was yellow for maturity, and the outer face which symbolised the end of earthly life which was white for death.
     They believed that as death arrived so a new cycle began, and many preparations involving rituals and gifts were made to prepare the soul for the afterlife. These masks depict a major Aztec preoccupation: the passage of time. Each layer shows a stage of a human's life: youth, adulthood and old age and death. The masks were traditionally worn during ceremonial events or placed upon graves.

Approx: 18cm × 22cm × 7cm
Origin: Mexico



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