By Rex Koontz
El Tajín, an old Mesoamerican capital in Veracruz, Mexico, has lengthy been popular for its attractive pyramids and ballcourts adorned with vast sculptural courses. but the city's singularity because the in simple terms heart within the zone with this kind of wealth of sculpture and nice structure has hindered makes an attempt to put it extra firmly within the context of Mesoamerican heritage. In Lightning Gods and Feathered Serpents, Rex Koontz undertakes the 1st broad remedy of El Tajín's iconography in over thirty years, permitting us to view its imagery within the broader Mesoamerican context of emerging capitals and new elites in the course of a interval of primary old transformations.
Koontz specializes in 3 significant architectural features—the Pyramid of the Niches/Central Plaza ensemble, the South Ballcourt, and the Mound of the development Columns complex—and investigates the meanings in their sculpture and the way those meanings might were skilled by way of particular audiences. Koontz unearths that the iconography of El Tajín unearths a lot approximately how motifs and elite rites growing to be out of the vintage interval have been transmitted to later Mesoamerican peoples because the cultures situated on Teotihuacan and the Maya turned the myriad city-states of the Early Postclassic period.
By reexamining the iconography of sculptures lengthy within the checklist, in addition to introducing very important new monuments and contexts, Lightning Gods and Feathered Serpents essentially demonstrates El Tajín's a variety of iconographic connections with different parts of Mesoamerica, whereas additionally exploring its roots in an indigenous Gulf lowlands tradition whose outlines are just now rising. while, it starts off to discover a principally overlooked neighborhood inventive tradition of which Tajín is the crowning achievement.
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Extra info for Lightning Gods and Feathered Serpents: The Public Sculpture of El Tajín (Linda Schele Series in Maya and Pre-Columbian Studies)
Thirteen. For a dialogue of this rank within the Pre-Columbian hierarchies of Western Mesoamerica, see Carrasco (1971:351– 352). The giving of this prestige and the similar tecuhtli rank turns out to were conscientiously managed via ritual all through Mesoamerica (see additionally Pohl 1994:89–93; Ringle 2004). a hundred and twenty Notes to pages 77–105 14. “. . . luego Icxicouatl y Quetzalteueyac le perforaron el septum a los tepilhuan chichimeca con el hueso del águila y el hueso de jaguar. He aqui el signo en el que aparece l. a. manera en que se establecieron como tlatoque los moquiuixca, los quauhtinchantlaca; cómo fueron enflorados, fueron saludados; cómo las flechas de los tepilhuan chichimeca brotaron. ” The Nahuatl be aware that I translate as “the arrows . . . seemed for the 1st time” is tlacochcueponque, which Kirchoff interprets actually into Spanish as “brotaron las flechas. ” He notes that cueponi indicates “brotar un flor,” and in that experience should be understood as “salir por primera vez,” or “to look for the 1st time” (see Kirchoff et al. 1989:171, n. 1). 15. “¡Han hecho merced a sus parientes los tolteca y los calpolleque! ¡Oh chichimeca, vé, camina, da el encuentro a l. a. llanura, a l. a. tierra divina, merece tu pueblo! contestaron: ‘Nos han hecho merced, lo ha permitido su corazón, oh tolteca; hemos cumplido con nuestro deber, hemos ayudado al pueblo de ustedes. ’ luego ya les dan mujeres a los chichimeca. ” sixteen. As another speculation, Wilkerson (1991:55) steered that the scene depicts the assembly of 2 lineages, with the only at the left filing to the single at the correct. 17. Kampen (1972: Fig. 32b) identifies the animal as canines, yet i might argue that either the ear and the nostril mark the animal as pussycat. 18. the most traditional reference of this fowl is the macaw, however it will be famous that this supernatural avian used to be extra ordinarily linked to wealthy, worthy plumage, which additionally got here from the quetzal and similar species (Taube 2003:279). In different contexts the place its raptorial features are emphasised, the fowl will be pointed out as a species of falcon (Guernsey 2006:98). 19. there is another visual appeal of the serpenttail dress at Tajín. Kampen (1972: Fig. 35g) illustrates a fraction from the Mound of the construction Columns that exhibits a serpent-tailed person taking part in ball with a skeletal determine. even though the determine is eroded, and the sculpture is bring to an end on the aspect that might have published a again replicate, the presence of the serpent tail, a unprecedented gown point at Tajín, strongly means that this determine is akin to the processants depicted at the crucial column. Beside the ballgame scene are figures within the Tajín dance posture who flank a zoomorph belching the vital general replicate because it looks during this application. García Payón (1973a) was once the 1st to show that this stone is likely one of the infrequent depictions at Tajín of what seems to be a precise ballgame. bankruptcy 5 1. the following the time period iconography is utilized in its broadest experience, as any research that foregrounds the meanings inherent within the item, specially whilst these meanings are ultimately relating to resource texts.