This beautiful sculpture has been part of the collections of the museum since the middle of the 19th century. It is the image of a woman who is dressed to represent to the Goddess of water, lakes, seas, springs and pools, called Chalchiuhtlicue. It has the Goddess’ characteristic headdress, which consists of several cords or bands rolled up around the head, decorated at the upper and lower edges with a series of small disks; two large cotton tassels placed on the ears complete the headdress. It wears the characteristic triangular garment on her chest called quechquémitl, finished with small cotton tassels, and a delicately carved skirt with a pattern of rhombi that seems the skin of a snake, animal that is around her waist, like a belt, to adjust her skirt or petticoat. At the back side we can see the remains of a headdress in the shape of a paper bow, characteristic of the deities of water and vegetable fertility, as well as her long braided hair formed by the extremes of the headdress bands. This Goddess used to be represented many times, in different types of volcanic rocks and greenstones, as well as in clay and in several pictographs. The great proliferation of these representations indicates the importance that this Goddess had for a town that depended on water, springs and lakes for their subsistence. The same could be said about the deities of corn that, along with Chalchiuhtlicue, were among the most represented in the Mexica Art. Arqlga. Bertina Olmedo Vera


  • Title: Chalchiuhtlicue
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date Created: 1325/1521
  • Physical Location: México
  • Physical Dimensions: w375 x h800 x d275 cm (complete)
  • Period: Posclásico Tardío (1250-1521 d.C.)
  • Altiplano Central: 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: Diorita

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps