Mask with mosaic pieces made of green jade, Spondylus shell, conch, and obsidian. Like the Olmecs, Mayans were masters in the creation and manufacture of masks from various materials, especially jade. The smaller ones, such as this one, had a smooth and non-decorated back, and it is thought that perhaps they were used as ornaments for the rulers´ belts. The life sized maskas were usually placed over the face of the deceased, as funerary masks; however, there were also "portrait-like" masks made with small mosaic pieces of jade and other materials such as shell and obsidian.
This mosaic mask of La Ruta Maya Foundation, was restored from a handful of small pieces of jade, obsidian and Spondylus shell. The batch of mosaic pieces was registered a few years ago with the No. 184.108.40.2061 by the Cultural Heritage Registry, who put the number behind the part identified as the nose. The mosaics of jade were put in place and glued on a resin base. The restoration was based on careful studies of the pieces and is completely reversible.
This object was part of the permanent exhibition of the Príncipe Maya Museum, which was located in the center of the city of Cobán, Alta Verapaz (Guatemala). This collection, unable to continue under the care of the previous holders, became part of the Ruta Maya Foundation to ensure safekeeping, care, access to researchers and students, and its exhibition to the general public.