TOTONAQUE – El Zapotal – VERACRUZ – Mexico

550 – 850 A.D.

  • Height : 73.6 cm
  • Width : 47.8 cm
  • Depth : 47.7 cm

Hollow beige brown terracotta.

God of rebirth is seated on a rectangular sliding stool with five cylindrical legs. He is dressed in a loincloth attached by a belt with a central rectangular ornament, composed of four triangles representing the four cardinal points. There are two knots that hold the triangles and form a central eye. The hands are placed on the knees. He is wearing bracelets on the wrists. The bones of the rib cage are fleshless. The head like a skull emerges from a snake’s wide open mouth with teeth, fangs and a bifid tongue. The skull is decorated with earrings representing petals. The snake’s head is decorated on each side by three superposed circular disks, which form ears and rest on the figure’s shoulders. The eyes protrude and spiral eyebrows are in relief. The nostrils are pierced. The top of the head is decorated by two horns elements that are placed one behind the other. There are holes linearly positioned on the snake’s body, which probably held feathers. A caterpillar on each shoulder of the figure symbolizes the spirit.

This sculpture, because of his quality and subject, is unique and of great importance in the Totonaque – Veracruz and Mesoamerican civilisation. It is connected to transformation and transmutation symbolism.