Figure

Stone figure, 15. - frühes 16. Jahrhundert

About the object

The kneeling figure has been carefully carved from volcanic rock. Traces of red and white paint indicate that the figure had originally been painted; its eyes have been inlaid. It is a depiction of the Aztec deity of water, rivers, seas, streams, storms and baptism, Chalchihuitlicue (»She of the Jade Skirt«). She is the female counterpart of the rain god Tlaloc. Typical tied tassels frame the girlish face. The decoration on the forehead, probably representing balls of cotton, indicates the figure's affinity to the plant world. Behind her head, there is a large fan made of barkcloth, around her shoulders a poncho-style shawl (Cape quechquemitl). The goddess was primarily associated with the life-giving qualities of the water (fertility, conception), but also with its destructive aspects (flooding, capsizing ships).

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