Skip to content

Museo de Arte Prehispanico de México Rufino Tamayo

This week, I visited El Museo de Arte Prehispanico (the Museum of Pre-hispanic Art) to learn about the historic significance and details of pre-hispanic art (one of the many pleasures of having the city as my classroom).

The Museum is partially named after Oaxacan-born Rufino Tamayo, a 20th century painter who’s work was strongly influenced by his Zapotec heritage.

 

A figure from the Middle Pre-Classic period. It’s of Veracruz nature, though it exhibits traits similar to those of Huastec culture. In the museum’s description, it was noted that the figure was “particularly outstanding for it’s design and expressiveness.” The Huastec people are one of the pre-Colombian Mesoamerican indigenous populations of Mexico (most of them now live in San Luis Potosi and Veracruz). Though their culture isn’t as well-studied as, for example, the Aztecs or Zapotecs, their art remains fairly well-preserved:

_mg_0700

 

 

 

This is a depiction of a Jaguar with a rope around it’s neck from the classical period (roughly 200AD – 750AD). From what I understand, Jaguars were a particularly important symbol in Mesoamerica, often depicted as a god or associated with shamanism.

_mg_0705

 

 

Another Jaguar figure:

_mg_0712

 

 

Pipes:

_mg_0713

 

 

Carving of “Diosa de los alimentos” (Goddess of food) in bronze, from the Tolteca culture:

 

_mg_0714

 

_mg_0716

 

 

From the Mayan culture, this carved piece is an intricately designed mural of a god (or, as the plaque describes it, “un gran jefe,” or “a great boss”) sitting on two captives:

_mg_0720

 

A rock scuplture that represents divinity:

_mg_0723

 

 

Also from Veracruz, this stone depicts a richly dressed person, likely to be used as a sacrifice for a ritual; one may also see scrollwork on the bottom and sides:

_mg_0729

 

The container was to be used for a ritual, found in Zempoala, Veracruz. The two figures are Xochipilli, the god of art, games, beauty, dance, flowers, and song in Aztec mythology. His name is a tie between xochitl, meaning “flower,” and pilli, meaning either “prince” or “child.”

_mg_0739

 

 

Aztec stones (1100 = 1521 BC) that represent calaveras, or skulls:

_mg_0741

 

A stone and mortar type tool, likely used to roll masa or crush items for cooking:

_mg_0744

 

 

Goddess of Fertility (1100-1521 BC):

_mg_0747

 

_mg_0748

 

 

A woman in ceremonial dress, likely a sacrifice  (200-750BC):

_mg_0753

 

 

Woman figure in ritual (200-750 BC):

_mg_0762

 

_mg_0770

 

_mg_0774

 

 

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *