General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 19 Apr 2021/3 Alligator
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Dancing monkey

Aztec dancing monkey sculpture

Aztec stone figure, 60cms high, in the National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City. The bird-beak mask and the body twisting in a spiral dancing movement identify this pregnant monkey as Ehécatl-Quetzalcóatl, god of wind. Like the pose, the coils of the serpent creeping up the monkey’s leg recall the whirlwinds that announce the arrival of the rainy season. The sculpture was discovered during archaeological excavations at Pino-Suarez Metro station in Mexico City [in 1967], where it was found in a ‘circular pyramid’, a form characteristic of buildings dedicated to Ehécatl-Quetzalcóatl. It had been ‘sacrificed’ by the Aztecs, who had broken it into several fragments and buried it.

From ‘Aztecs’ (Royal Academy of Arts exhibition catalogue, London, 2002), p.424.

Photo by Ana Laura Landa/Mexicolore

Wikipedia article on Pino Suarez Metro station