The Alamito of Argentina

Among the many masks produced by pre-Columbian cultures, those made by the Condorhuasi-Alamito people are some of the most distinct in style and character. Their unmistakable features include a pronounced brow ridge, angular nose, and three drilled holes forming the eyes and mouth. Although similar in their simplicity and form, they take on striking individuality. Variations of stone type and subtle changes in proportion give each a unique disposition.

The Alamito inhabited the region in Northern Argentina around what is now the Catamarca province. Archaeologists believe the Alamito were part of an expansive trade network that also included the important site of Tiwanaku, near Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. Their use of rich blue Lapis Lazuli, a material probably sourced from the central coast of Chile (approximately 300 miles West), also speaks to the Alamito’s far reaching commerce.

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