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MEXICO - Mexico City - The National Museum of Anthropology – Maya Chac-Mool

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Chac-Mool (also spelled chacmool) is the term used to refer to a particular form of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican sculpture depicting a reclining figure with its head facing 90 degrees from the front, supporting itself on its elbows and supporting a bowl or a disk upon its stomach.

These figures possibly symbolised slain warriors carrying offerings to the gods; the bowl upon the chest was used to hold sacrificial offerings, including pulque, tamales, tortillas, tobacco, turkeys, feathers and incense.

The Chac-Mool form of sculpture first appeared around the 9th century AD in the Valley of Mexico and the northern Yucatán Peninsula.

The ancient name for these type of sculptures is unknown. The name "Chac-Mool " is attributed to Augustus Le Plongeon, who excavated one of the statues at Chichen Itza in 1875. Le Plongeon named the statue "Chac-Mool ", which he translated from the Maya as "thundering paw." 

Yucatán turned over the statue to the federal government, which brought it to Mexico City to the National Museum of Anthropology. Museum worker Jesús Sanchez realised that the Chichen Itza sculpture was stylistically similar to two sculptures from central Mexico and the wide occurrence of the form within Mesoamerica was first recognised. The 19th century discovery of chacmools in both central Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula helped to promote the idea of a Toltec empire but the chacmool sculptures may have had their origin in the Maya region.

In an Aztec example the receptacle is a cuauhxicalli (a stone bowl to receive sacrificed human hearts). Chac-Mools were often associated with sacrificial stones or thrones. Aztec Chac-Mool bore water imagery and were associated with Tlaloc, the rain god. Their symbolism placed them on the frontier between the physical and supernatural realms, as intermediaries with the gods.
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And many thanks to you Findingpieces for taking the time to comment as well as for your nice comments !! Greetings ,

thx for sharing about this beautiful and very old sculpture.


My pleasure Marisela !! Tienes toda la razon. Seguimos en contacto. Recuerdos, Concepcion

Así es!! Bella nuestra historia, hermosa nuestra Patria! Gracias por compartir lo que somos al mundo.


Increible, no te parece ?? Eres Mexicana tambien ?? Recuerdos, Concepcion

Bella nuestra historia!!

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