Bird Head, carved basalt relief (called Hacha), El Tajin style

Hacha, c. 600-900 CE

expand_more

Stoneexpand_more

The William Hood Dunwoody Fundexpand_more  64.26

G260expand_more

Players of Mesoamerican ballgames wore u-shaped yokes around their hips made of cotton, wood, or leather to deflect the rubber ball in this no-hands team sport. Yokes made of carved stone were worn in opening and closing ceremonies for the game. Hachas were ornaments that attached to players' yokes during these ceremonies. The notch at the bottom of the hacha allowed it to sit atop the yoke encircling the player's hips. The ring around the eye of this bird hacha identifies it as a parrot or macaw, a possible reference to the supreme ball players known as the Hero Twins. They are the main characters of the Popol Vuh, the Maya creation story. The Popol Vuh is an important source of information on many ballgame-related objects throughout Mesoamerica.

Details
Title
Hacha
Role
Artist
Accession Number
64.26
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Bird Head, carved basalt relief (called Hacha), El Tajin style