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Olmec Jade Mask of Tlaloc - PF.3143
Origin: Mexico
Circa: 900 BC to 500 BC
Dimensions: 5.25" (13.3cm) high x 4.25" (10.8cm) wide
Catalogue: V20
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Olmec
Medium: Jade

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This sculpture touches and exhilarates centers of life beyond our present reality. It serves as a means of transforming the ordinary to the extraordinary, the natural to the supernatural. Sculpted faces and masks have always been used as ritual agents of transformation in Meso-America. The ritual wearer of this sculpture, the shaman, not only represented the God; he was the God. He manifested the life force. Through that ritual transformation joining the worlds of spirit and nature, man and God fused in the zone of mysterious transition marked by the sculpted object itself. This sculpture is the seat of the soul, where the outer and inner worlds meet. We are left to ponder over the mysteries of the Universe hidden within this work of art, and the awakened insights it has brought to our own inner spirits. Although the human face provides the basic form for this sculpture, it is clearly not human. It depicts a fantastic being, a Meso-American God, with compelling vitality and power from the supernatural world. Everything about it - its combination of facial features, its nonhuman eyes and nose and its supernatural proportions - proclaims it a mythological creature rather than a natural one. It represents a force so essentially spiritual that it could not be encompassed and ordered by human thought. This mythological creature is the "unfolding" of this spiritual essence. So captivating is the energy of this mythological creature that we may find ourselves marvelously enriched with freshly awakened energy within our own being. - (PF.3143)

 

 

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