TITLE: Kuikuro Kalapolo Mask
TYPE: mask
GENERAL REGION: Latin America
COUNTRY: Brazil
SUBREGION: Mato Grosso
ETHNICITY: Kuikuro
DESCRIPTION: Kalapolo (Otter Spirit) Mask
MAKER: Unknown maker in Alto Xingú
CEREMONY: Aga
FUNCTION: Healing; Spirit Invocation
AGE: early 2000s
MAIN MATERIAL: wood
OTHER MATERIALS: palm fiber; pigment

The Kuikuro people of the Amazon rain forest populate the Xingú River region of the Mato Grosso state of Brazil. During the Aga mask ceremony, masked Kuikuro shamans invoke forest and water spirits such as the river otter to cure the ill. In the Kuikuro belief system, water and forest spirits (itseke) cause disease and death, and only shamans can intervene to propitiate them. Such masks are worn without eye holes.