Aztec, 1200 – 1400 AD
H: 17-3/8 inches (44 cm)
W: 9-½ inches (24 cm)


This strong male figure is carved in the round out of basalt, a maxlatl intricately tied around his waist. The red coloration to the top of the head is likely the result of oxidation over time. His nasolabial folds are subtly visible as a natural consequence of his open mouth, and his nose has been partially eroded by time. Eyelids outline hollow sockets where eyes of shell or stone likely gazed out at the viewer. The limbs of this impressive figure are no longer attached to the torso, however it is clear from the way the maxlatl and thighs are formed that the figure stood freely and with clearly differentiated limbs. Indeed, the arms must have been carved away from the body as well. The proper right ear is still intact; it shows the hole where the ear plug would have been placed. The left ear would have been similarly adorned. Aztec sculpture was often one of ideal attributes of male and female forms rather than true portraiture, with male forms portrayed standing and female figures generally being shown seated.