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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Art : Mayan Stone Hacha
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Mayan Stone Hacha - PF.4757
Origin: Veracruz, Mexico
Circa: 500 AD to 800 AD
Dimensions: 11" (27.9cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Stone

Location: United States
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The Maya ballgame was a very serious event. When played simply as a game, the king may have participated. As a cosmic metaphor the ball represented the trajectory of heavenly bodies, and the king was the agent who set their course. However, this spectacle was often more than metaphor and included captive enemies as opposing players who forfeited their lives if they lost. The ball itself was made of hard, solid rubber. When projected with force it could be a lethal weapon. Therefore, the players wore protective gear in the form of a thick 'yoke' around the waist and possibly the hacha. This beautiful hacha is both a sculpture and practical device. The double profile shows a man deep in concentration, his eyes intensely watching, waiting for the moment to strike. The sweeping furrows at the sides of his face give the impression of tense muscles and exertion of energy. Given the weight of most hachas, they may have been used only for ceremonial purposes. Whether for sport or pageantry the hacha is one of the most unique and beautiful works of art from the mysterious Maya. - (PF.4757)


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