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Large Aztec Standing Figure of Teteoinnan-Chicomecoatl, ca. A.D. 1470-1521 During the eleventh festival of the year called Ochpaniztli, a woman was dressed as the maize goddess, also called Teteoinnan or Toci, performed in dances in the central plaza of Tenochtitlan after which she was sacrificed. A priest then wore her skin together with her ritual dress and preformed in ritual combats before the temple of Huitzilopochtli.

Large Aztec Standing Figure of Teteoinnan-Chicomecoatl, ca. A.D. 1470-1521 During the eleventh festival of the year called Ochpaniztli, a woman was dressed as the maize goddess, also called Teteoinnan or Toci, performed in dances in the central plaza of Tenochtitlan after which she was sacrificed. A priest then wore her skin together with her ritual dress and preformed in ritual combats before the temple of Huitzilopochtli.

Aztec Figure of Xochiquetzal, ca. A.D. 1300-1521 height 5 3/4in (14.6cm)

Aztec Figure of Xochiquetzal, ca. A.D. 1300-1521 height 5 3/4in (14.6cm)

Mixtec Penate in the form of Noble Ancestor, ca. A.D. 1300-1521 Greenstone height 6 (15.25cm)  Small figurines of this kind were carved in green stone from various sources and range from jade-like green to beige in color. The size and shape of this example indicates that it represents a seated ancestor and was probably kept in a sacred bundle to be venerated on a palace altar.

Mixtec Penate in the form of Noble Ancestor, ca. A.D. 1300-1521 Greenstone height 6 (15.25cm) Small figurines of this kind were carved in green stone from various sources and range from jade-like green to beige in color. The size and shape of this example indicates that it represents a seated ancestor and was probably kept in a sacred bundle to be venerated on a palace altar.

Incensario (Incense Burner) Support, 600-900 Mesoamerica, Maya, Palenque region, Classic Period (250-900) or modern

Incensario (Incense Burner) Support, 600-900 Mesoamerica, Maya, Palenque region, Classic Period (250-900) or modern

Mesoamerican, Zapotec Mexico (Monte Albán) Urn with Human Figure, 300 B.C. - A.D. 200 Pottery with deposit of vermilion

Mesoamerican, Zapotec Mexico (Monte Albán) Urn with Human Figure, 300 B.C. - A.D. 200 Pottery with deposit of vermilion

Jalisco Seated Female Figure, Ameca Style, Protoclassic, ca. 100 B.C. - A.D. 250

Jalisco Seated Female Figure, Ameca Style, Protoclassic, ca. 100 B.C. - A.D. 250

Pottery ancestor figure, Zapotec, 200 BC - AD 800. From the Oaxaca Valley, Mexico.   The figure on this example wears a mask and headdress representing the depicted ancestors’ potent supernatural force. The chest ornament features a glyph or sculpted symbol of a day in the 260-day Zapotec ritual calendar. The exact use and purpose of these vessels is unknown. The container, or urn, itself - usually a cylindrical vessel hidden behind the sculpted figure -

Pottery ancestor figure, Zapotec, 200 BC - AD 800. From the Oaxaca Valley, Mexico. The figure on this example wears a mask and headdress representing the depicted ancestors’ potent supernatural force. The chest ornament features a glyph or sculpted symbol of a day in the 260-day Zapotec ritual calendar. The exact use and purpose of these vessels is unknown. The container, or urn, itself - usually a cylindrical vessel hidden behind the sculpted figure -

Considering the life-giving role that water plays in the dry Oaxaca Valley, the Zapotec supernatural Cocijo, who is associated with lightning and rain, occupied an important position in Zapotec ideology. At the height of Monte Albán's prominence, images of Cocijo wearing elaborate headdresses tell us that powerful leaders impersonated him during important public rituals designed to ensure rain and bountiful harvests.

Considering the life-giving role that water plays in the dry Oaxaca Valley, the Zapotec supernatural Cocijo, who is associated with lightning and rain, occupied an important position in Zapotec ideology. At the height of Monte Albán's prominence, images of Cocijo wearing elaborate headdresses tell us that powerful leaders impersonated him during important public rituals designed to ensure rain and bountiful harvests.

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