Pre-Columbian, Southern Mexico to Guatemala, Mayan Territories, Maya, Late Classic Period, ca. 550 to 950 CE. A finely-carved stone hacha fragment depicting a snake head in profile with captivating features on both sides: recessed almond-shaped eyes, a snout with delineated nostrils, petite ears decorated with large discoid earspools, and an open mouth with full lips. The area underneath the mandible is flat and slightly recessed while the verso is nearly flat, and the top of the head is rough from having been separated from the rest of the hacha. Snakes/serpents provide a fascinating element of Pre-Columbian iconography as they were regarded to be a beneficial source of nourishment and, at the same time, venomous and therefore quite deadly. Also important to the Mayans was how snakes shed their skin annually, thus rejuvenating themselves and serving as symbols of renewal and good health. Size: 4.875" L x 3.5" H (12.4 cm x 8.9 cm).
Provenance: private Millburn, New Jersey, USA collection
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