Art & Artists / Highlights / Hacha


Classic period (AD 300-900)
Tan stone
h. 29.5 x w. 21.2 x d. 2.7 cm
UEA 626

Hachas are axe-shaped stone objects associated with the Mesoamerican ball game. It has been suggested that they served as ballcourt markers but they may have been ceremonial versions of wooden objects actually used in the game.

Decapitation was closely connected to the ballgame, blood sacrifice was thought to be part of controlling the cosmic order and ensuring a good harvest. The iconography of the hachas mostly reflects this aspect of the ballgame, with many appearing to represent severed trophy heads with eyes closed in death.

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