The jade mask of Calakmul, one of the main symbols of the ancient Maya civilization, returns to Campeche after 8 years touring the world as cultural and historical ambassador of Mexico and Campeche.
“I think it’s the most beautiful of all Maya masks, and therefore, it was chosen to travel the world as an important icon of the Maya culture, and also as an ambassador of Campeche to the rest of the world,” said Claudia Escalante Díaz, director of INAH Campeche museums.
The mask was found in 1984 and was part of a mortuary offering discovered in one of the main buildings in the city of Calakmul that the Mayas built around 2,000 years ago in what is now the southeastern part of the state of Campeche.
Other 9 jade masks were also found there, along with the skeletal remains of Yuknoom Yich’aak K’ahk who was the K’uhul Kaan Ajaw or sovereign emperor of the snake kingdom, known as Jaguar’s Claw, the last warrior king of the Maya.
“Archaeologists discovered the emperor’s mortal remains and other valuable objects inside the grave, such as the jadeite masks that are very important pieces because they allow us to know more about their commercial relationships with other cities”, said Antonio Benavides Castillo, delegate of INAH in Campeche.
The mask, made in jade with applications of seashells and gray obsidian, has toured several countries as an important piece of exhibition in museums in Paris, London, New York and Beijing, just to mention a few.
“This mask had been on loan for 14 years in many places around the world and now, we finally brought it back to Campeche, where it belongs” said Claudia Escalante Díaz, INAH Campeche Museum Director.
According to experts, the jade masks represented the face that the Maya dignitaries wanted to show when appearing before the gods of the underworld or kingdom of the dead.
These masks will be permanently exhibited in the Museum of Maya Architecture, located inside the Baluarte de la Soledad, in the city of Campeche.
TYT Newsroom with information from noticieros.televisa.com