Sometime between 500-450 B.C., the Zapotec
people began to build the great city of Mount
Alban. By the time this intriguing sculpture was
made, the Zapotecs had firmly established a
flourishing and powerful state. The figure wears
a headdress comprised of two "winged"
extensions curving outwards from his head, and
attached to a thick collar around his neck. These
striated appendages resemble abstract corn silks
used in conjunction with depictions of rain gods.
His face is very realistic, given the appearance of
an old man in the fashion of many deity images.
His left hand is placed on his head, and on the
wrist is a bracelet of thick beads similar to ones
encircling his neck. Two vertical extensions rise
from the 'wings', giving the impression he is
about to fly back to the heavens. The power of
this figure is worthy of a people who left behind
fascinating art and considerable mystery.