August302014

ancientart:

A quick look at: Mictlantecuhtli, the Aztec god of death and lord of the underworld.

Mictlantecuhtli was believed to live in Mictlan, the cold, damp and gloomy underworld of the Aztecs, or lower part of the cosmos, where the remains of humans were kept.

This Templo Mayor Museum figure of Mictlantecuhtli, which is perhaps one of the most famous representations of the god, was found in the House of Eagles. Here he wears a loincloth, and stands grinning. Some have suggested that this grin of Mictlantecuhtli, who once harassed Quetzalcoatl on his journey to the underworld, may suggest his desire to torment. His claw-like hands are posed, as though ready to attack someone.

The holes on his scalp would have once been filled with black, wavy hair -which the Aztecs associated with chaos. Parts of his flesh has been teared off, and his liver falls from his chest cavity. This organ was connected to Mictlan, and housed the Ihiyotl soul (see Aguilar-Moreno 2007, chapter 7). Recent residue analysis has found traces of human blood on the statue. 

Artefact courtesy of the Museum of the Templo Mayor, Mexico City. Photos taken by Travis: oosik.

Recommended reading: Handbook to Life in the Aztec World (Oxford University Press, 2007) by Manuel Aguilar-Moreno. This is a very good overview and introduction to the Aztec culture, and expands on many of the points I briefly mentioned here.

August192014
velustrius:


The Death Rose (Rosa calvaria) is a rare and mysterious plant species. Beautiful when blooming, the buds form skull like faces when wilting.
Biologists still don’t understand how the Death Rose forms these shocking designs as they are impossible to grow in lab experiments.

this is the most metal flower i have ever seen.

velustrius:

The Death Rose (Rosa calvaria) is a rare and mysterious plant species. Beautiful when blooming, the buds form skull like faces when wilting.
Biologists still don’t understand how the Death Rose forms these shocking designs as they are impossible to grow in lab experiments.

this is the most metal flower i have ever seen.

(via lightshooker)

August32014

uterbeick:

History crush: Princess Victoria Luise of Prussia

11PM

mehrseinalsscheinen:

Greatest actor in the history of theater. Period.

(Source: trekgate, via uterbeick)

11PM

ancientart:

Aztec masks.

The Walters provides an excellent overview of the significance of skeletal masks to the Mexica, which I have included below.

Throughout Mesoamerica, the wearing of masks was central to the performance of religious rituals and reenactments of myths and history. The face is the center of identity, and by changing one’s face, a person can transcend the bounds of self, social expectations, and even earthly limitations. In this transformed state, the human becomes the god, supernatural being or mythic hero portrayed.

Masks of skeletal heads, whether human or animal, are relatively common, for death played a central role in Mexica religion. Death was one of the twenty daysigns of the Mexican calendar, indicating its essential place in the natural cycle of the cosmos. Death also was directly connected to the concept of regeneration and resurrection, which was a basic principle in Aztec religious philosophy.

A key Mexica myth recounts the journey of Ehecatl, a wind god who was an aspect of Quetzalcóatl (“Feathered Serpent”), a powerful Mesoamerican deity. Ehecatl travels to Mictlán, the land of the dead, where he retrieves the bones of long-dead ancestors. He grinds their bones and mixes the powder with his blood, offered in sacrifice. With this potent mixture, the god formed the new race of humans who, according to Mexica cosmology, inhabit the present fifth age of Creation. Thus, death and rebirth are intimately connected in Aztec thought and religious practice.

The mask represents the concept of life generated from death with visages animated by lively eyes and painted skin. The mask was probably worn during rituals, covering the performer’s face or attached to an elaborate, full-head mask, and transforms the person into a new being that symbolizes the pan-Mesoamerican belief in life springing from death as a natural, and inevitable, process of the mystical universe. (Walters)

Courtesy of & currently located at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, USA, 2009.20.1212009.20.1.

11PM

(Source: zonaq, via the-photographs)

July152014

veralynn23:

Maskull Lasserre - Anatomical Sculptures

(Source: fem-arts, via bunnyharlow)

7PM
houndeye:

Mihály Zichy
Nubian With a Water Pipe

houndeye:

Mihály Zichy

Nubian With a Water Pipe

(via schall-platten)

February272014
reparations:

Afrika Operator. Sand Trooper as fuck

reparations:

Afrika Operator. Sand Trooper as fuck

11PM

gunrunnerhell:

Snow Troopers

Members of the German Mountain Infantry Battalions during training exercises. Specializing in alpine environments, candidates considered for the units must display high stamina, endurance, physical fitness and mountaineering skills. (GRH)

(via reparations)

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