Mirror Back with Great Goddess

400–550 CE
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.

Download, Print and Share

Did You Know?

This ancient Teotihuacan mirror may have been used in divination rituals.


An important female deity commands the watery scene on the back of this mirror. The face, bordered by ear ornaments and partially hidden by a nose ornament, appears beneath a huge headdress with the fringed eyes and curled proboscis of an abstract butterfly. The deity rests on a shell-studded water band and two adoring humans offer flowers or incense in a bag. Mirrors served as costume ornaments and perhaps were used in rituals to divine the unknown.
Mirror Back with Great Goddess

Mirror Back with Great Goddess

400–550 CE

Guatemala(?), Escuintla, Teotihuacán style, Classic Period

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.