General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 23 Nov 2017/8 Flint
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Chacmool

Aztec stone chacmool figure, c. 1500 CE, 108 cms long, National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City, (this piece came to London as part of the major ‘Aztecs’ exhibition at the Royal Academy, 2002-3).

The name ‘chacmool’ was first used in the 19th century by a French archaeologist working at Chichén Itzá. The sculpture shows a man with a large feather headdress and wearing necklaces, bangles and bracelets of jade with gold and copper bells attached. ‘Chacmool’ figures are characterised by a mask over the eyes and mouth, which identifies the figure as Tlaloc, god of rain. The same type of mask can be seen on the upper part of the sacred vessel that rests on the stomach of this figure, where it’s surrounded by human hearts.

Adapted from the RA exhibition catalogue ‘Aztecs’, p. 457.

Photo by Ana Laura Landa/Mexicolore

Learn about Henry Moore and the chacmool