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Jaguar's Realm: Ancient Art from Mexico to Peru
Figure Wearing Flayed Skin, Attribute of the God Xipe Totec
Mexico, Central Veracruz
Early Classic, ca. 300-600
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Marcus
Complex societies arose in Mesoamerica from Mexico to Honduras, and in South America along the coastal deserts and Andean Highlands of Peru. Civilization in these two regions developed on a parallel course, emerging in the first millennium B.C.E. with the Olmec of Mexico and the Chavin of Peru. Cultural and technological developments culminated with the well-known Maya, Aztec, and Inca empires. While there are obvious differences between these peoples, their artworks allow insight into their religious and cultural ideals that are in many ways similar. The exhibition, drawn entirely from the Museum’s permanent collection, included works in a variety of media: stone, wood, fired clay, metals, bone, textiles, feathers, and shell. A mural fragment from Teotihuacan of the Classic period, ca. 500–700 C.E., exemplified the frescoed wall paintings from Mexico’s central highlands.
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