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Serpentine maskette collected by Dr. William H. Holmes ca. 1926 at La Venta, Tabasco

Serpentine maskette collected by Dr. William H. Holmes ca. 1926 at La Venta, Tabasco

W.H. Holmes, 1906

While plowing the field near San Andres Tuxtla in Veracruz in 1902, a farmer found a small jadeite statue, representing a man wearing a duckbill mask and a cloak, etched with multiple rows of hieroglyphs. W.H. Holmes, curator of Anthropology and Chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution, described the artifact in American Anthropologist in 1907. Since very little was known about the people that inhabited that region of Mexico at the time, he thought the object was Maya or possibly Huastec.

William Henry Holmes, Museo Nacional de México,
          1884. Image from the National Anthropological Archives, National Museum
          of Natural History
William Henry Holmes, Museo Nacional de México, 1884. Image from the National Anthropological Archives, National Museum of Natural History

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