This greenstone maskette fragment depicts the lower portion of a face with a downturned mouth that is typical of Olmec art from the 1st millennium B.C. The artist incised the cheeks with geometric designs and they were then filled with red pigment. Two holes under the chin could have held pendant beads as part of a larger set of ritual regalia.
[William Spratling, New York and Taxco, Mexico, until 1957]; Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York, 1957, on loan to The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1957–1978
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Art of Oceania, Africa, and the Americas from the Museum of Primitive Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1969, no. 554.