Hacha: man's head with scarification on cheeks

550–750 CE
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General Description

Hachas protruded from a padded waist belt and were part of the ballgame gear for deflecting the heavy rubber ball. This stone hacha was probably a ceremonial replica of a wooden original. It was made in south-central Veracruz but was reportedly found in the vicinity of Toniná, a Maya royal capital in the mountains of Chiapas in southern Mexico. From the Early Classic period (200–600 CE) onward, the lowland Maya borrowed regalia and conventions of ball playing from the Gulf Coast peoples. The Classic period kings of Toniná created their replica of Creation Mountain. They put their ball court at the base of the mountain, as the clefted abyss was at the base of the first true Creation Mountain. There, these kings played ritual ballgames with their sacrificial victims, often highborn lords taken in battle.

Excerpt from

Carol Robbins, Label text, A. H. Meadows Galleries, 2010.

Web Resources

Khan Academy
Watch a video about the Mesoamerican Ballgame and a Classic Veracruz yoke, with Dr. Rex Koontz and Dr. Steven Zucker.