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Ceremonial Hacha in the Form of a Monkey's Head

Arts of the Americas

On View: Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
U-shaped objects termed “yokes” by archaeologists are representations in stone of belts worn around a ball player’s hips. This example is decorated with symbolic images alluding to death, such as the human skeleton. The frog’s head at the front references the watery realm of the underworld. The hacha (literally, “axe,” for its resemblance to an axe head) was worn on the front of the belt. The monkey head may symbolize one of the half brothers of the Hero Twins of the Popol Vuh.


Objetos en forma de “U”, llamados “yugos” por los arqueólogos, son representaciones en piedra de los cinturones llevados en las caderas por los jugadores de pelota. Este ejemplo está decorado con imágenes simbólicas alusivas a la muerte, como el esqueleto humano. La cabeza de rana en la parte frontal hace referencia al reino acuático del inframundo. El hacha (llamada así por su semejanza a la cabeza de un hacha) se usaba al frente del cinturón. La cabeza de mono puede simbolizar a uno de los medios hermanos de los Héroes Gemelos del Popol Vuh.
MEDIUM Stone
  • Place Found: Veracruz, Mexico
  • DATES 700-900
    PERIOD Post Classic
    DIMENSIONS 7 1/4 x 6 1/2 x 4 in. (18.4 x 16.5 x 10.2 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 59.237.2
    CREDIT LINE By exchange
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Classic Veracruz. Ceremonial Hacha in the Form of a Monkey's Head, 700-900. Stone, 7 1/4 x 6 1/2 x 4 in. (18.4 x 16.5 x 10.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, By exchange, 59.237.2. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE front, 59.237.2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Ceremonial hacha in the form of a monkey's head with tongue hanging down and a scroll-like adornment on the head. Perforations at corners of mouth. Condition: good; chips at top back, two suspension holes broken, and small chip on top of forehead.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (88%)
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