Xipe Totec

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Dated: 100-400

Cultural Context: Early Classical style.

Origin: Gulf Coast of Mexico

Medium: Clay, Pigment

Technique: Modelled, Slip trailing, Painted, Appliqué, Excised, Incised

Dimensions: Height = 64.8 cm; Width = 25.5 cm; Depth = 23 cm

Inventory no.: 1991/11/48

Standing male figure with closed eyes and half-open mouth. He has multiple holes in the top of his head and wears earspools and a nose flare. He wears two ropes across his chest and holds a kind of mirror in one hand and several small bags in the other. He appears to be wearing a full costume and exhibits prominent genitalia. This figurine depicts the Mesoamerican god Xipe-Totec (Our Lord the Flayed), who was worshipped particularly in Veracruz and the Gulf Coast during the Classic Period. He was the god of fertility, seasonal renewal and spring. As a deity associated with fertility, genitals tend to appear prominently in his representations. Likewise, as a symbol of the renewal of nature, he was represented dressed in human skin. This aspect can be seen in this sculpture, in which the god's full attire is actually the skin of a sacrificed individual.

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