Holding this piece in our hands, we begin to
understand why the term “head-breaker” is used
as a nickname for these objects. Clearly it would
not be an enjoyable experience to receive a blow
from this heavy, carved hunk of volcanic stone.
Originally attached to a wooden shaft, this device
would have been a most deadly weapon.
However, considering the great beauty of this
work, it was more likely used as a centerpiece in
religious ceremonies or sacrificial rituals. Today,
we are moved by this piece not out of fear for the
damage it is capable of causing, but out of awe
for its stunning beauty and expert
craftsmanship. As connoisseurs might relish the
beauty of an antique gun, one can easily
appreciate the quality and artistry this mace head
represents. The donut-shape of the head has
been decorated with a band of incised glyphs,
including a series of faces, perhaps
representations of gods, kings, or great warriors.
The intricate, detailed carving of the glyphs and
faces is simply stunning. This weapon may have
been made for wagging war, but it is moreover a
work of art.