General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 19 Apr 2021/3 Alligator
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Xipe Totec warrior

Aztec warrior figure dressed as the god Xipe Totec

Aztec fired clay sculpture (15 cms high) of Xipe Totec, National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City (originally from Tlaltelolco).

One of four sculptures from Tlatelolco (Tenochtitlan’s twin city) representing impersonators - whether priests, warriors or commoners - of the god Xipe Totec, a god of spring and the patron of goldsmiths. The figurine wears the flayed skin of captives sacrificed during the ceremonies which took place in the ‘month’ of Tlacaxipehualiztli (‘flaying of men in honour of Xipe’). This is one of two figures in the group of four seated on a small bench who are high-ranking warriors. This warrior has a large copper axe on his head, and, like his partner in the group, he has a small, removable face mask. (Click to enlarge to see better...)

Adapted from ‘Aztecs’ (Royal Academy of Arts exhibition catalogue, London, 2002), p.422.

Photo by Ana Laura Landa/Mexicolore

See a Xipe Totec mask in the British Museum

See a Xipe Totec figure in the Museum für Völkerkunde, Basel

See a Xipe Totec stone head in the Museum für Völkerkunde, Hamburg