Mask pendant

Mexico, or northern Central America; Maya, AD 200–600

Wood, jade, resin, shell, mother-of-pearl, spondylus shell, obsidian, red pigment

H. 12cm; W. 8.4cm; D. 6.8cm

The jaguar, whose upper jaw covers the face on this mask, was associated with royalty and the underworld. This pendant may therefore have belonged to a Maya ruler and would have been worn ceremonially. Jade, whose colour symbolised fertility and rebirth, contrasts against other minerals like shell (teeth) and obsidian (eyes).

© The Al Thani Collection