ceremonial spindle wheel with carved sun-face and rays

Ceremonial spindle whorl, 10th-15th century



Gift of Mrs. Stanley Hawksexpand_more  78.84

Not on Viewexpand_more

According to Maya worldview, the Sun's cyclical journey across the sky, through the underworld, and back again began with the whirling of a spindle. This cosmic relationship is referenced in the carvings which adorn this spindle whorl; the personified sun and its rays of light would be set in motion by the actions of the spinner. The whorl - a fly wheel to give momentum to the rotating spindle - thus becomes a symbol of the world's creation, connecting the creative powers of the gods and the celestial realm with the spinners and weavers on earth.

Ceremonial spindle whorl
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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ceremonial spindle wheel with carved sun-face and rays