Mural Fragment with Elite Male and Maguey Cactus Leaves

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This fragment is from a larger composition that covered the walls of a patio at Teotihuacan.


This richly dressed elite male belonged to a row of identical figures who processed along the walls of a patio in one of Teotihuacán’s wealthy apartment compounds. He offers a chant or prayer, materialized in a mouth scroll, along with a flower-filled libation that cascades from one hand. In the other hand, he carries an incense bag. The thorny spines of the maguey cactus, in front and behind, may allude to the offering of precious blood and a ritual beverage made from the cactus’s sap (pulque, a less refined form of tequila). The spines are thrust into objects that may represent bundles or plots of land.
Mural Fragment with Elite Male and Maguey Cactus Leaves

Mural Fragment with Elite Male and Maguey Cactus Leaves


Central Mexico, Tlacuilapaxco apartment compound(?), Teotihuacán style, Classic Period


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