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Ceremonial Ax (“Kunz Ax”)


Not on view

Both the material and form of this object refer to maize agriculture: jade symbolized maize, and the ax was an agricultural tool. Axes were typically made of humbler materials; the use of jade indicates this example’s ceremonial role, as does its size and the quality of the carving. The form is anthropomorphized into a supernatural figure with arms folded across the chest, both hands grasping a sharp object—perhaps a ceremonial ax. At some point, at least two blocks were sawed off the rear of the head, perhaps to create new ornaments from the sacred work.

Tanto el material como la forma de este objeto se refieren al cultivo del maíz. El jade simbolizaba el maíz y el hacha era una herramienta agrícola. Tradicionalmente, las hachas estaban hechas de materiales humildes. En este caso, el uso de jade (sumado a su dimensión y a la calidad de la escultura) indica su función ceremonial. La forma del hacha se vuelve antropomórfica al transformarse en una figura sobrenatural con brazos cruzados sobre el pecho y ambas manos que sujetan un objeto afilado (quizás se trate de un hacha ceremonial). En algún momento, al menos dos bloques de la parte trasera de la cabeza fueron serruchados, quizás con el fin de crear nuevos ornamentos.

Ceremonial Ax (“Kunz Ax”), Jadeite, Olmec

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