On loan to The Met The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.


Probably Mixtec (Ñudzavui)

Not on view

The face of this mask is framed by the jaws of a helmet in the shape of an animal’s head, with two intertwined xiuhcoatl (fire serpents). This type of turquoise was valued for its medicinal use and was worn or ingested by victims of lightning strikes. The quality of the crafting and the combination of turquoise with other materials likely indicates Mixtec manufacture. During the sixteenth century, this mask made its way to Europe and into the collection of Cosimo I de’ Medici, Duke of Florence.

La superficie de esta máscara de madera en la que se puede observar una cara rodeada por la mandíbula de un casco en forma de animal con dos xiuhcoatl entrelazadas (serpientes de fuego) está recubierta de un mosaico de piedras y conchas. Los artistas utilizaban teselas turquesas para los rostros y las serpientes, Spondylus prínceps rojo y Spondylus calcifer morado para las líneas de contorno, y Madre Perla (o Nácar) para los ojos y los dientes de las serpientes. La calidad artística y la combinación de turquesa con otros materiales indican una probable manufactura mixteca. Durante el siglo XVI, esta máscara viajó por Europa y llegó hasta la colección de Cosimo I de Medici, Duque de Florencia.

Mask, Turquoise, wood, mother‑of‑pearl, shell (Spondylus princeps, Spondylus calcifer), Probably Mixtec (Ñudzavui)

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.