Funerary Mask of Estate Manager Wah

Middle Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 136

In keeping with his important position as the estate manager of a wealthy nobleman, Wah's body had been carefully mummified and wrapped in hundreds of yards of linen. Within the wrappings were standard pieces of funerary jewelry (40.3.1), an array of personal jewelry (40.3.16), and three exceptional scarab bracelets (40.3.12, 40.3.13, 40.3.14). Wah was also provided with this mummy mask, its face covered with gold foil. The rather pinched features are neither masculine nor feminine, the gender of the owner being indicated by a mustache and a full beard, which has been enhanced with a thin piece of wood jutting down from the chin. The natural hairline, including short sideburns, is visible along the forehead beneath the striped headcloth. The chest of the mask has been painted with a broad collar made of tubular beads. The colors of the mask, in particular the gold skin and blue hair, are reminiscent of the Egyptian idea that the skin of the gods was gold and the hair was of lapis lazuli.

Funerary Mask of Estate Manager Wah, Cartonnage, wood, paint, gold foil

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