Lot: 141

"Hacha" in shape of a human skull in profile, ca. 500-950 AD

Mexico, Veracruz Culture

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Galerie Gerdes, Munich, Germany
Anna Maria Posset (1922-2018), Würzburg / Miltenberg, Germany (acquired between 1975 - 1985)
H: 6.5 inch 2000 EUR / 4000 EUR

heavy brown volcanic stone, acrylic base There are different theories concerning the meaning of the "hachas": they could have been a kind of heraldic symbol, belonging to certain groups, families or even individual beings. They could have been thought as burial objects as well. Most of the time however, they are mentioned in connection with the ritual ball game. A culture known as Classic Veracruz produced three kinds of stone objects symbolic of the actual equipment used in the game: "hachas" (axes), "jugos ("yokes") and "palmas" (long narrow stones). Stone "jugos" are the ritual counterparts of leather-and-wood yokes worn around a player's waist to protect him from the heavy rubber ball. "Hachas" and "palmas" were set on the yoke, in front of the player, possibly to help control the ball or as a component of the ceremonial dress.


Rickenbach, Judith, Präkolumbische Kulturen am Golf von Mexiko, Zürich 1997, p. 276, ill. 62 Edwin M. Shook, "Secrets in Stone: Yokes, Hachas and Palmas from Southern Mesoamerica", American Philosophical Society, 1996
This object is subject to the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Protection Act. For shipment to a non-EU member state, export regulations will vary.