This carved wall mask’s composition celebrates the respected and venerated onca pantera (jaguar, panther) so important to the Native groups of lower Central America. The intense and otherworldly rendering of this large forest mammal – an ayahuasca cat – is reminiscent of reports regarding animals and beings seen in trance during a shaman´s session employing this ancestral South American medicine.
Elaborate and almost narrative ecological themed cultural masks, such as this piece, are an evolution emerging from the traditional Brunka ceremonial masks. Typically carved from balsa wood and tropical cedar, these decorative masks are reminiscent of story boards allowing the mask artists to render scenes of the landscapes, flora and fauna of the tribe’s territory, as well as scenes from their native legends, cosmology and pre-Columbian past.
- Tribe: Brunka (Boruca)
- Artist: Taylor Morales
- Size: 9 1/2″ x 15″ (24.25 x 38.25 cm)