Tlazolteotl, “Goddess of Filthy Things” | The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
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Tlazolteotl, “Goddess of Filthy Things”

Tlazolteotl, “Goddess of Filthy Things”

Tlazolteotl, “Goddess of Filthy Things”

Basalt

H: 40; W: 18; D: 11 cm

Gift of Georgia Gibbs, through the America-Israel Cultural Foundation

Accession number:

B61.05.0779

Arts/Americas

Tlazolteotl was the Central Mexican goddess of purification and healing, associated in particular with the curing of diseases caused by sexual excess. She is identified by the band and spools of raw cotton in her headdress and by the two brooms she holds, symbolizing purification. The Aztecs would confess their sins and perform ritual bloodletting in front of her image, and Tlazolteotl would absorb their impurity and cleanse them.

From the Israel Museum publications:

Fleitman, Yvonne, Shafir, Dorit, "Beyond the Eye of the Beholder: Ideals of Human Beauty in Africa and the Americas", Beauty and Sanctity: the Israel Museum at 40. A Series of Exhibitions Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2006

Exhibitions:

Beyond the Eye of the Beholder: Ideals of Human Beauty in Africa and the Americas, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 01/03/2005 - 17/01/2006