Xipe Totec was a popular deity among the Aztec and Mixtec of Central Mexico. Also known as the gold of spring vegetation, Xipe was associated with fertility, warfare and the art of goldworking. Sculptures representing Xipe often dramatically depict a priest wearing the flayed skin of a sacrificial victim. To ancient Mexican peoples, the victim's skin rotting away to reveal the living person underneath was a metaphor for the natural cycles of death and renewal. On this urn, Xipe is celebrated as the patron of warfare. The severed head festooned with red and white streamers-one of Xipe's attributes. On either side is a round checkerboard battle shield encircled by human eyeballs and bloody flints.
Place object was created: Oaxaca
earthenware, slip paint
Measurements: height: 15.75 inches width: 17.25 inchesGift Mrs. Francis Robicsek in honor of her granddaughter Lilly 1999.150.6
Currently on view at Mint Museum RANDOLPH