General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 23 Nov 2017/8 Flint
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Statue of Xiuhtecuhtli

Mexica (Aztec) stone statue of Xiuhtecuhtli

Mexica (Aztec) stone figure, 80cms high, National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City.

This sculpture displays all of the god’s distinguishing features, including the headdress, clothing and sandals. Moctezuma II would have worn similar clothing when receiving nobles, allied kings and enemy leaders into his palace. The headdress is the ‘xihuitzolli’ or ‘copilli’, the crown or diadem made from a gold sheet and decorated with turquoise. The damaged section at the front would originally have featured a solar ray. The ear-spools would have been made of greenstone or turquoise.
The figure is clothed in the distinctive ‘xicolli’, a type of tunic tied in the front with four circles on the front and back. Its ornamentation is completed by a row of greenstones and feathers. The long hanging strips of the ‘maxtlatl’ (loincloth) are covered by the triangular apron worn by warriors to evoke the role of the sun as the foremost heavenly warrior. The bangles made from three strips of leather incorporate small copper bells that would have tinkled when moved, while the elegant ‘cactli’ (sandals), have solar rays on their heels to emphasize the god’s role as the lord of the ‘tlatoani’.


From ‘Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler’ Eds. Colin McEwan and Leonardo López Luján, British Museum Press, 2009, p. 180.

Photo by Ana Laura Landa/Mexicolore

Another statue of Xiuhtecuhtli