Skip Navigation

 Museum Explorer

Gods and spirits in
the Americas

Mask of Tlaloc

Height: 17.300 cm
Width: 16.700 cm

AOA Q87 Am.3

Mask of Tlaloc

From: Mexico (Aztec/Mixtec)
Date: 15th-16th century AD

This striking mask is probably meant to be Tlaloc, the Aztec rain god. It is made of turquoise mosaic. Turquoise reminded the Aztecs of green leaves and life-giving water.

Tlaloc's face is made out of two serpents, one green and one blue. Each encircles an eye before they intertwine across the nose. Mosaic feathers flank the face and may have been part of a larger head ornament made of quetzal-bird feathers. The mask might have been worn by the priest that served Tlaloc in the Great Temple.