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Cihuatéotl (2)

Aztec stone cihuateotl statue

Mexica (Aztec) stone cihuatéotl figure, c. 1400-1521 CE, height 74 cms., British Museum.

Carved stone figure of a cihuateotl in kneeling position. Figure wears a long skirt fastened by a knot with bare breasts and delineated nipples. The hair is tightly bound and interwoven in a pattern of concentric circles along the hairline. The crown of the head is inscribed with a glyph indicating the day “1-monkey” in the Aztec calendar.
The sculpture may once have been part of a roadside shrine. Such images were so placed to propitiate marauding anguished female spirits who were believed to pose a danger to young children, since they had been deprived of the opportunity to be mothers themselves.


(From the British Museum online collection database).

NOTE: This object was purchased by the BM in 1990 from British dealer Michael Graham-Stewart. It was ‘found in a Scottish country house; some of William Bullock’s collection ended up in the Scottish anitquaries, now the National Museum, and it is just possible that this figure came from the same source.’

Photo © Trustees of the British Museum, London.

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