Lot 232

FUNERARY MASK
CULTURE CALIMA, COLOMBIA Yotoco
period, 100 BC - 800 AD Brown
ceramic
H. 17 cm - W. 30 cm
A similar mask entered the collections of the Museum of Man in 1891, along with other objects from Colombia from the same collection. For a long time this mask was given as coming from the sacred lagoon of the Muiscas in Guatavita, but everything seems to indicate that this type of mask came from the Calima culture, during the Yotoco period between the end of the first century BC and about 800 AD.
The Calima Culture was established along the Calima River and in the fertile lowlands bordering the Rio Cauca valley. Unfortunately, no traces of settlement remain due to the use of perishable materials. On the other hand, many tombs have been discovered there.
In some of them, around the deceased, terracotta objects have been found, such as this mask, vases decorated with characters and animals such as monkeys and toads, and vases in the shape of a house, also called alcarraza. Rock crystal beads and various gold objects such as jewellery, flutes and death masks completed the funerary furniture.
The study of similar masks reveals that the frieze surrounding the face represents stylised monkeys.
Provenance:
Collection Ramón Alonso Noval, acquired in the 1960s and 1970s, Oviedo, Spain
Private Spanish collection
A thermoluminescence test was carried out by the Kotalla laboratory in July

Location of the item
France - 75008 Paris