A number of masks discovered in the offerings at the Templo Mayor date back to much earlier civilizations; at least two are Olmec in style and another mask seems to have been carved at Teotihuacan pic 15. Visit My Store For More Collectibles collectworldantiques. Much of the goldwork found the Basin of Mexico was obtained from the Mixteca region in southern Mexico, where the finest metalwork in all of Mesoamerica was produced. What was its importance in Aztec culture? Turquoise, like jadeite and greenstone, was thought to attract moisture; it symbolized breath and thus life itself. Leave some areas where the colors are not completely blended for a marble effect. Because the Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan was the largest and most sacred Aztec temple-pyramid in the Valley of Mexico, the presence of so many masks among the offerings buried there proves that masks, whether they were large or small, new or ancient, were highly valued by the Aztecs. Take your imagination to a new realistic level! The most powerful and prestigious masks were made of the rarest, most costly materials.
Others seem to have been passed down through the centuries. What they usually received for their trouble was a simple stew etzalli made of maize and beans. A Tlaloc costume possibly once worn by an Aztec fire priests was found in Offering 102 at the Templo Mayor. Within this ideological system, all masks, even those made of grass, could empower their owners, but those made of the most precious materials and representing the most important and powerful deities were controlled and kept in the hands of a few. The practice of ritually flaying a woman representing Toci presumably explains her appearance in the Codex Borbonicus, page 13, where she wears a human skin pic 16.
Find a photo or graphic of each example to help illustrate your response. Decorate your masks with pre-shaped cut and paste designs. Even gold objects that were probably crafted in Tenochtitlan by Aztec metalworkers reflect the influence of Mixtec metalworking. In Nahuatl, the language spoken by the Aztecs, the word for face, xayacatl, is the same word used to refer to something that covers the face. Most of these types of masks were constructed of fabric but were also made of beaten copper or gold, and sometimes of clay minerals.
Because the real masks are so old, leave some areas of the mask blank, as if the pieces were lost over time. Some of these may have been heirlooms that, like the turquoise masks listed in the Codex Mendoza, were likely received at Tenochtitlan as tribute items. If you are really interested in researching more about the masks, the carvers and dance ceremonial dances from this region, you should read the unique book by Dr. Masks were placed over a mummified head to protect the deceased from dangers in the afterlife. The skulls, which once belonged to defeated and sacrificed enemies, served their captors as war trophies at the same time that they empowered their new owners pic 9.
Pic 8: A New Fire Ceremony, Codex Borbonicus, folio 34 Click on image to enlarge Because the nobility and the government depended heavily for their support on war booty and forced tribute extracted from conquered communities, it is not surprising that many masks were made for and possibly by Aztec warriors These masks also derived much of their power from the material of which they were made. They derived some of their power from the materials used to make them. In the Mixtec Codex Vindobonensis Codex Vienna , page 46, we can see a mask tied to a flaming bundle of sticks pic 13. Pic 1: Stone sculpture of Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl, British Museum Click on image to enlarge Like many Mesoamerican peoples, the Aztecs headquartered in Central Mexico at the time of the Spanish conquest made extensive use of masks. Masks are important features in current festivals, carnivals and religious dances. Many Aztec masks indicate through detailed craftsmanship were made to represent the faces of Aztec gods Xiuhtecuhtli, Tlaloc, and Tezcatlipoca.
Gift out of the estate of Lukas Vischer 1780-1840. The real motive, however, was to persuade the unwelcome visitors to leave. This would have been the case, for example, for the mask placed on a simple wood frame that was to represent Xiuhtecuhtli. You can find here hard and detailed patterns, advanced animal drawings, simple colorings or easy outlines. Some of these are depicted in early colonial period painted manuscripts and book illustrations, and a number of pre-conquest Aztec stone statues represent masked beings as well pic 1. Add dimensional effects for the forehead, nose, and mouth.
Masks were also used for entertainment purposes and for political and religious events or ceremonies. The Nahuatl word for turquoise was xihuitl but the very finest turquoise was called teoxihuitl, which incorporates the word for divinity or that which is sacred, teotl. Whether commoners also had and used masks, and if so, what those masks may have been made of, is much less clear. This is a vintage antique not a new one from an old estate. Organize your responses into an electronic presentation. Those that have survived are made of the frontal part of a human skull, some with holes at the sides or top for strings.
Look at authentic images for inspiration before designing a replica mask. Organize your research into an electronic presentation for peers to view. Of greatest value was turquoise, which was often cut by mask makers into small pieces Greek: tesserae which were then glued onto a wood backing, a technique known as turquoise mosaic pic 2. There a file of priests impersonating gods are seen processing to a flaming hearth at the top of a large hill called Huitxachtecatl today, Cerro de la Estrella, Hill of the Star. Thanks for Checking In Ad-free Scissorcraft offers low cost. Pic 6: Silver maskette from offering 34, Templo Mayor, 4.