A beautiful Taino translucent marble Ancestral or heritage mask, c. AD 800 - 1000, strong eye and mouth surrounds as well as finely carved symbolic idioms defines the mastery of Taino carvers. These were passed from generation to generation. The Taino believed these heads contained the spirit of the individual represented, usually a chief or noble. They were held during ceremonial memorials to relate tribal history. Marble was a rare medium for Pre-Columbian artisans. Marble from the Ulus Valley in Honduras was used by the Maya to create decorative bowls, but its use remains unique to the Taino and Maya. Length 3 3/5 in (9.1 cm). Ex collection of Flor Maria Alvarado and Carlton Rood of the Dominican Republic. Mr. Rood was the author of 'A Dominican Chronicle', a concise history of the island, and a US diplomat as part of the A.I.D. program from 1965 to 1969; Ex collection of Alfredo Carrada acquired from Mr. Rood in 1989.
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