Opalescent mother-of-pearl from Pacific coast abalone shells has been cut into squares and glued with a substance derived from pitch to form a mosaic pattern in this object. Southwestern archeologist Myles Miller has suggested that this ornamented item may have been a mask worn during shamanic or ritual ceremonies. Note the resemblance between this and the painted masks at the Hueco Tanks site about 30 miles to the east. Although the shell appears inset, they are glued in, likely with a substance derived from pitch. TARL Collections.
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