Large Sicán Painted Gold Mask, ca. A.D. 950-1250
This large Sicán mask is a fine example of using pigments to add to the aura of these highly stylized funerary items. Sicán masks from the north coast of Peru are some of the largest ancient goldworks known. The carefully hammered flat surfaces were layered with ear and nose dangles, eye stalks, and often painted with sacred red and green pigments, to create a dazzling collage of three-dimensional quality, even creating an acoustic effect. This mask belongs to the Type A category of the Sicán typology; for masks of large size and a fairly heavy gauge sheet metal, see Muro and Shimada (1985: 65, 68), and ibid. (pg. 67, figs. 5 and 6), for masks with pigment remaining.