DescriptionHead of Xipe
Ça 600-900 AD
Modeled ceramic with black and red pigment
11¼" High x 12" Wide
Broken from a monumental figure in ancient times, this large head represents Xipe Totec impersonator who would have been called an Ixiptla in Nahua. The head is shown wearing the flayed skin of a sacrificial victim. The Ixiptla would wear the skin for twenty days during the spring festival to symbolize new life and the shedding of earth's old dry skin. The Ixiptla's own lips appear behind the victim's lips on this sculpture. Xipe was a symbol of fertility and warfare. His images are frequently found in Veracruz sculpture and, even though he is associated with the Aztecs, his cult goes much further into antiquity. The object has been broken and repaired.
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