TITLE: Piaroa Kohue Mask
TYPE: face mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Brazil
SUBREGION: Orinoco River Basin
ETHNICITY: Piaroa
DESCRIPTION: Kohue (Vampire Bat) Mask
CATALOG ID: LABR002
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Warime Ritual
AGE: 1980s
MAIN MATERIAL: clay
OTHER MATERIALS: wicker; bark cloth; beeswax; pigment; dried grass

The Piaroa people inhabit the Orinoco River Basin region of Venezuela and northern Brazil. They are an extremely peaceful people with a political structure that anthropologists describe as nearly anarchic.

The warime ceremony is the biggest festival of Piaroa society. It includes a purification ritual in which masqueraders represent animal spirits and proclaim their deeds of the year to the tribe, good and bad, to seek respectively praise or forgiveness. This mask represents an animal spirit, specifically the Kohue (vampire bat).

Masqueraders must receive religious instruction from a shaman beforehand, and his incantation is accompanied by music on traditional instruments.

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TITLE: Piaroa Warime Mask
TYPE: crown mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Venezuela
SUBREGION: Orinoco River Basin
ETHNICITY: Piaroa
DESCRIPTION: De’aruwa Ime
CATALOG ID: LAVE001
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Warime Ritual
AGE: 1980s
MAIN MATERIAL: bark cloth
OTHER MATERIALS: wicker; dried grass; beeswax; pigment

The Piaroa people inhabit the Orinoco River Basin region of Venezuela and northern Brazil. They are an extremely peaceful people with a political structure that anthropologists describe as nearly anarchic.

The warime ceremony is the biggest festival of Piaroa society. It includes a purification ritual in which masqueraders represent animal spirits and proclaim their deeds of the year to the tribe, good and bad, to seek respectively praise or forgiveness. This mask is called De’aruwa Ime and is worn straight up on the head, with macaw feathers coming out of the top, with the face and body covered in a dried plant fiber suit. Some believe this mask to represent a peccary. Other De’aruwa masks may represent a monkey, vampire bat, or bee (redyo). Masqueraders must receive religious instruction from a shaman beforehand, and his incantation is accompanied by music on traditional instruments.

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