This beautiful sculpture represents a mythological animal thought as an otter or water dog with long and sharp claws; it is characterized by having a human hand at the end of its tail. The Náhuatl name for this animal was ahuízotl, which literally means “river thorns” and which was translated as “a kind of water animal like a dog” in ancient glossaries. The earliest Aztecs consider it an envoy of Tláloc, the rain god who lived under the water. The role of the Ahuízotl was to use its hand at the end of its tail to catch men to drown them and send them to be servant at Tláloc’s home. The coiled up tail of the animal is the base of this sculpture. Arqlga. Bertina Olmedo Vera


  • Title: Ahuitzotl
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date Created: 1325/1521
  • Physical Location: México
  • Physical Dimensions: w460 x h590 x d510 cm (complete)
  • Period: Posclásico Tardío (1250-1521 d.C.)
  • Ciudad de México: Mexica
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia., INAH. Proyecto de Digitalización de las Colecciones Arqueológicas del Museo Nacional de Antropología. CONACULTA-CANON-MNA.
  • External Link: http://www.mna.inah.gob.mx
  • Medium: Andesita

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