A beautiful Taino serpentine ancestral mask, c. AD 1000 - 1500, with finely detailed eye and mouth surrounds, large ear spools brace the side of the head. Ancestral heads were made to honor deceased chiefs and other elite tribal members. It was believed they contained the subject's spirit and could be called upon during rituals to reveal past events and honor cultural heritage. Head or skull carving relates to the Taino tradition of keeping the skulls of important relatives in cotton slings or baskets hung from structural supports. Length 5 1/5 in (13 cm). In fine condition with custom stand. 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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