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Plate with the Maize God emerging from a water lily


Not on view

Despite his clear association with a terrestrial crop, the Maize God is an aquatic being. In colonial and modern narratives, maize deities are killed in water, then reborn. On this plate, the god sprouts from the submerged rhizome of a water lily, while a fish swims below. The encircling band adds a celestial dimension to the scene, as if the rebirth happened in the heavens or the viewer were watching it from the sky.

Plato con el dios del maíz saliendo de un lirio acuático
Sur de Campeche, México
Siglo VII al VIII
Cerámica, pigmento

A pesar de su evidente relación con la planta terrestre, el dios del maíz era un ser acuático. En los relatos coloniales y modernos, las deidades del maíz mueren ahogadas y luego renacen. Aquí vemos cómo el dios brota del rizoma sumergido de un lirio de agua, mientras los peces nadan debajo. La banda circular que delimita la escena añade una dimensión celeste, como si el renacimiento ocurriera en el cielo, o como si el espectador lo viera desde ahí.

Plate with the Maize God emerging from a water lily, Ceramic, pigment, Maya

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Photo © Museum Associates/ LACMA