N.B. THIS IS A VERY LARGE SACRIFICIAL STONE VESSEL, A RECEPTACLE.
Shakespeare is credited for saying that nothing is good or bad, but that thinking makes it so. True,ignorance is bliss and unless you know what you are looking at, then the brain may not be engaged in passing a judgment. You could admire the stonemason's work or the form and shapes you see. But please read on and see how a large piece of granite can become loathsome.
The site for Tenochtitlan (Mexico City) was chosen by the high priests when they saw the omen of an eagle killing a serpent while perched on a cactus. Mexico's flag marks the moment.
The eagle held great significance for the Aztecs as these regal birds were associated with Huitzilopochtli, the god of war, who guided the Aztecs to establish their city and build their far flung empire. This god was of even more significance as he himself in the form of the sun fought his own battle every night, through the night, against darkness to be reborn every morning. To provide the god with nourishment, the Aztecs went to battle which provided them with captives who were offered to Huitzilopochtli and other gods in the pantheon.
The cuahxicalli was for me the second most unsettling object to photograph in this exhibition. Even now as i write this note, it makes me shudder to think that a religion,a set of beliefs,can make people do the most terrible things.(Yes, we don't need to go back in time to see this major fault line in humanity- we see it all around us.)
But back to the Aztecs- the stone object is their eagle vessel and the victim was said to fly with the eagle, a privilege of sorts. The price for this flight was to have one's heart cut from the chest and while it was still beating it was placed in the vessel (part of which is behind the upper curving rim). I stood there in front of this impassive stone and thought of the poor man whose dying brain would still be conscious of what had occurred and his dimming eyesight would be registering his own bleeding sacrifice.
The horror of it all, and all in the name of some cosmology that the human brain had construed from its own fears and insecurities.In millennia to come people will look in horror in possibly another exhibition at the deeds carried out in the name of today's major religions and will shudder and wonder what sort of people we were.
Critiques | Translate
jhm (135758) 2014-08-14 5:27
Nice detailed picture of the small statue.
Colours and sharpness make these picture attractive.
Excellent composition, nice captured.
Very well done, TFS.
lousat (72855) 2014-08-14 15:38
Ciao Klaudio,un altro pezzo pregiato di questa collezione azteca davvero interessante che ci stai mostrando nei minimi particolari,anche oggi la qualita' fotografica č impressionante,grandi dettagli e colori nella miglior esposizione,un grosso grazie per il tuo lavoro originale e creativo.Buon weekend,Luciano
siudzi (32641) 2014-08-14 23:51
Another perfectly executed sculpture's capture with an impressive level of detail. Excellent visual effect was created due to the superb light management. TFS!
dekanski (2528) 2014-08-15 2:16
Ponavljam se Klaudio,
divno, kao da sam i sam bio tamo!
emka (73743) 2014-08-15 14:20
Hello Klaudio, Many years ago, I suppose in the early sixities, there was an exhibition in Warsaw of the Mexico art. It made a profound impression on me and for more than 30 years my dream was to go to Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City. And finally I made it in 2001. And part of it was temporary closed, for instance the Olmeks sculptures. But anyway, I saw the famous calendar and other treasures. You are lucky that this exhibition came to you :). It is difficult to imagine the rituals of Aztecs and also Mayas - for instance these ballgame with decapitation of the losers. The most horrifying was the goddess Coatlicue with the skirt of serpents,
WArm regrads MAlgo
jmdias (52918) 2014-09-01 2:41
is these stones could to tell about that time... and in some aspect they can..
very nice angle catching the relives and details of this piece of art and horror. anyway Aztecs aren't the only to use religion to bring pain to others, we can see at this exact moment on TV.