Originally made from a palm frond or reed, the palma testified to the high status of its owner. It was worn on the chest by sacrifical victims or their executioners. The complex imagery on the front and back of the palma seen here relates to fertility and to the cosmic order the ritual sacrifice was intended to preserve. The story opens in this world with the sacrifice, continues with the Tree of Life (agave) that results from it, and ends in the world of the gods.
Playground of the Gods: The Ballgame in Precolumbian Art, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 17/01/2002 - 08/03/2003