A macuahuitl is a wooden sword set with blades made from obsidian stone. Commonly used by the Aztec military forces and other Mesoamerican cultures, it was capable of inflicting serious lacerations. They were made by cutting a groove into one edge of the wooden club, into which sharpened flint or obsidian stones would be set and firmly fixed with an adhesive. 

Special ceremonial macuahuitls also existed, in which the obsidian blades were replaced with other minerals and gemstones. 



The Codex Borgia / Yoalli Ehecatl is a PostClassic Mexican manuscript which dates from the 13th - 15th centuries. Written in a highly complex pictorial script, the codex recounts the religious beliefs of the Nahua peoples and outlines the ritual behaviors associated with particular calendar dates.


Santa Fe, New Mexico based artist Max Lehman instills humor and playfulness into his surreal ceramic sculptures of ancient characters. Like artifacts of his youth, his whimsical versions of South American pre-Columbian gods, ghosts, and other creatures embody everything that the artist grew up on and loves, including 1950s advertisements, cartoons, graffiti, and punk rock music. Perhaps there is no better description of his work than the title of his next exhibition, “Gods + Goop + Gobbledygook”, opening at Stranger Factory in New Mexico on January 8th. 

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Aztec Giants

In Aztec legends, during the first age or world, called Four Jaguar or Jaguar Sun, the world was populated by a race of giants called Quinametzin. The gods created them from ash and the giants fed on acorns. Some accounts say that they refused to worship the gods and were ultimately destroyed by raining fire. Other accounts say that Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca began to fight, the sun was knocked out and in his anger Tezcatlipoca sent jaguars to devour the  Quinametzin. Some of the Quinametzin are credited for building Tenochtitlan, the pyramid of Cholula, and other places throughout Mexico. It is said that their are four giants that hold up the sky in the age the Fifth Sun.

(pic - Codex Rios)

When the Spanish came they encountered giants. One was named Tzilacatzin who helped keep the Spanish at bay when they first landed in Mexico. The Dominican friar Fray Diego Duran said this: It cannot be denied that there have been giants in this country. I can affirm this as an eyewitness, for I have met men of monstrous stature here. I believe that there are many in Mexico who will remember, as I do, a giant Indian who appeared in a procession of the feast of Corpus Christi. He appeared dressed in yellow silk and a halberd at his shoulder and a helmet on his head. And he was all of three feet taller than the others, (Fray Diego Duran - The Aztecs).

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Montezuma’s Headdress - Unknown Aztec Artist, c. 16th Century.

Feathers, gold, gemstones, 46in by 69in

Currently on display at Vienna’s Museum of Ethnology

Moctezuma’s headdress is a large and elaborate 16th century crown which according to legend once belonged to Aztec emperor Moctezuma II, made from the iridescent green tail feathers of the Resplendent Quetzal. Moctezuma either gave it to Hernán Cortés as a gift upon his arrival at Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire and modern day Mexico City, or it was pillaged by Cortés’ forces after the siege of Tenochtitlan in 1521. [x]

Passageway May Lead to Aztec Ruler's Tomb

A Mexican archaeologist said his team has found a tunnel-like passageway that apparently leads to two sealed chambers, the latest chapter in the search for the as-yet undiscovered tomb of an Aztec ruler.

The Aztecs are believed to have cremated the remains of their leaders during their 1325-1521 rule, but the final resting place of the cremains has never been found. Outside experts said Tuesday the find at Mexico City’s Templo Mayor ruin complex would be significant.

The National Institute of Anthropology and History said Monday that a team led by archaeologist Leonardo Lopez Lujan had discovered an 8.4-meter (27-foot) long tunnel leading into the center of a circular platform where dead rulers were believed to be cremated. Read more.