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Stone sculpture of Tlazolteotl
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Fertility is a recurring theme in Huastec art, in which it is represented by stone sculptures of female goddesses, elderly men and phalluses. The female figures are associated with Tlazolteotl, an earth goddess. Representations of Tlazolteotl are also found in codices (painted books), pottery figurines and engraved on shell pendants.

The Huastec inhabited the northern part of the Gulf Coast of Mexico, roughly the modern states of Veracruz, San Luis Potosi, Hidalgo and Tamaulipas. It was a fertile region where cotton was an important crop and a principal item of tribute and trade.

Sculptures of Tlazolteotl share characteristics such as a rigid posture, hands over their stomach, bare breasts and long skirt. The large headdress is generally composed of a rectangular section with a conical cap on top and a fan-shaped crest. However, in this example, there are no indications of clothing, and the fan-shaped crest is carved on the back of the head.

Stone sculpture of Tlazolteotl


Huastec, from the River Panuco region, Mexico, AD 900-1521 Ht 93 cm
Glift of Captain Vetch



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