Relief with Maize Goddess (Chicomecóatl)
Arts of the Americas
On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, The Americas’ First Peoples, 4000 B.C.E.–1521 C.E.
The importance of maize (corn) and chocolate, two of the many plants native to the Americas, is exemplified by these Aztec sculptures.
The relief panel of the maize goddess Chicomecóatl may have been set into an altar. Chicomecóatl controlled the positive and negative powers of growth and famine. Her elaborate headdress is topped by two ears of corn. In her right hand, she holds a snake-shaped rattle staff, used to penetrate and fertilize the soil.
The man carrying a cacao pod may represent one of the merchants who brought cacao beans from the tropical coastal lowlands to the Valley of Mexico. Chocolate, made from the beans of the cacao pod, was a popular drink in Aztec society.
15 1/2 x 11 3/4 x 3 3/8 in. (39.4 x 29.8 x 8.6 cm) (show scale)
A. Augustus Healy Fund
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Aztec. Relief with Maize Goddess (Chicomecóatl), 1440-1521. Stone, 15 1/2 x 11 3/4 x 3 3/8 in. (39.4 x 29.8 x 8.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, A. Augustus Healy Fund, 51.109. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 51.109.jpg)
overall, 51.109.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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