A basalt sculpture representing a woman squatted in the indigenous way dressed with a huipil and a skirt with stars or citlalcueitl, made of a leather strip decorated with feathers and conches, it has a necklace of hands with a skull in the center, a skull headband, loose and tangled hair, round earflaps and a semi-emaciated face. The hands, placed at the front in a menacing way, were destroyed to prevent from showing what could have been animal claws. The same can be said about the face that was damaged, probably during the destruction of the deified images during the War of Conquest or during the first years of the Colony when the Spaniards tried to divest from the power these images had in the native world. The attire associates the women to the group of goddess known as cihuateteo, who embodied the spirit of women that died during child birth. They lived in the west region or Cihuatlampa and accompanied the sun from its midday zenith, where the souls of warriors who gave their lives in battles deliver it to them, to its setting on the West, where they leave it so the sun would continue its night journey through the underworld.Arqlga. Bertina Olmedo Vera


  • Title: Cihuateotl
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date Created: 1325/1521
  • Physical Location: México
  • Physical Dimensions: w530 x h1100 x d540 cm (complete)
  • Period: Posclásico Tardío (1250-1521 d.C.)
  • Altiplano Central, Calixtlahuaca, Edo. De México: Mexica
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia.
  • External Link: http://www.mna.inah.gob.mx
  • Medium: Basalto

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