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Bat incense burner

Bat incense burner from Veracruz

Bat incense burner, ceramic sculpture from Central Veracruz (Zongolica culture), c. 600-900 CE, height 0.41 metres, Xalapa Museum of Anthropology, Mexico.

This incense burner, from the Zongolica mountains, illustrates the cult to caves and to the beings who inhabited them, represented sometimes by deities that acquired bat attributes. This unique piece shows zoomorphic representation [by] sticking its tongue out, which looks like the long leaf of a plant. When charcoal and resins were burned in its interior, the aromatic smoke came out through the nose and mouth of the bat.

From Xalapa Museum of Anthropology - a Guided Tour, text by Rubén Morante López, Gobierno del Estado de Veracruz/Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, 2004, p. 84.

Photo by Karel Baresh/Mexicolore.

Learn more about bats in Mesoamerican legend...