A representation of a face in a naturalistic or stylistic manner sometimes made in primitive countries of hollow metal depicting the human face with relief features and sometimes adorned with replicas of jewelry.
Examples used as funerary jewelry are known from all the early Mediterranean cultures, including the Egyptian, Phoenician, Mycenaean, and Etruscan, but not from the Classical Period in Greece. The best known are the mask of Tuntankhamun and the mask alleged traditionally to be the mask of Agamemnon.
An example made in the Quimbaya region of Columbia, c. 500-1500, is of cast gold, the figure wearing a nose ornament and suspended gold plaques. Although the last was worn for personal adornment, masks in general are mainly of a ritualistic character.
From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson