Cihuateotl goddess | The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
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Cihuateotl goddess

Cihuateotl goddess

Cihuateotl goddess

Clay

H: 148; W: 67; D: 40 cm

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Maremont, Chicago, to American Friends of the Israel Museum

Accession number:

B77.1271

Arts/Americas

In Veracruz and Central Mexico, women who died in childbirth were revered as minor goddesses - Cihuateteo. They would meet the sun at midday and escort it on its celestial journey until sunset. From dawn until midday the sun was escorted by Tonaleque, the souls of warriors who fell in battle. Both kinds of death were considered sacred, but it was mainly the Cihuateteo who were given large sculptural representations.

From the Israel Museum publications:

Ekholm, Gordon F., The Maremont Collection of Pre-Columbian Art, Israel Exploration Society in cooperation with the Shrine of the Book, Israel Museum