The concept of duality is fundamental to understand the thought and philosophy of the Mexica people; it is expressed as the union of antagonistic forms that govern the conception of Gods and nature. This essential principle is represented in works like this small figurine of greenstone that depicts a character that shows, on one half, the mask of the God of rain, Tláloc; and on the other, a naked face. The date “8 reed” engraved on the front of the figurine commemorates one of the expansions of the Templo Mayor. This is why the image evokes exactly the symbolism of this double building dedicated to Tláloc and Huitzilopochtli; the couple that is a metaphor of the two seasons that ruled the destiny of the Mexicas: the raining season, when the land is worked, and the dry season, when they used to declare war. The piece was bought from the Brooklyn Museum, New York, in 1964. Arqlga. Bertina Olmedo Vera


  • Title: Figura de la dualidad
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date Created: 1250/1447
  • Physical Location: México
  • Physical Dimensions: w80 x h97 x d85 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: Piedra Verde

Get the app

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


Google apps