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Final Farewell: The Culture of Death and the Afterlife

Immortal Spirits: The Pre-Columbian Afterlife

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Mummy Mask with Inlaid EyesMummy Mask with Inlaid Eyes

The Chancay culture typically placed a mask atop the mummy bundle containing the body. Twine inserted into holes on the top and sides of the masks secured them in place. Their open eyes and slightly smiling expressions infused the mummified remains with life, thereby immortalizing the deceased’s soul.

Mummy Mask with Inlaid Eyes
Chancay culture
1100–1450 C.E.
Peru, Central Coast
Wood, shell, paint, and plaster
(84.177)
Gift of Bernard R. Sperling

 

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