Returned to lender The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

Plate with gods shooting blowguns


Not on view

This plate features two young gods shooting blowguns at a supernatural bird pictured at center. Their skin is ridden with black sores, symbolic of humility and sickness, contrasting with the bird’s ostentatious appearance. Colonial and modern mythical narratives, including the Popol Wuj, explain how young, humble, and sometimes ailing heroes vanquished older, stronger, and wealthier foes who opposed their rise as luminaries.

Plato con dioses que soplan cerbatanas
Siglo VI al IX

Este plato muestra a dos dioses jóvenes disparando sus cerbatanas contra un pájaro sobrenatural representado en el centro. Ambos tienen la piel cubierta de pústulas negras, señal de su humildad y enfermedad, que contrasta con la apariencia ostentosa del ave. Las narrativas coloniales y modernas –incluido el Popol Wuj– explican cómo los héroes jóvenes, humildes y a veces enfermos vencieron a enemigos mayores, más fuertes y más ricos que impedían su ascenso al cielo como luminarias.

Plate with gods shooting blowguns, Ceramic, Maya

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.

Secretaría de Cultura–Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH), Mexico, reproduction authorized by INAH; photo by Jorge Perez de Lara