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Hacha: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Players of the Mesoamerican ballgame wore u-shaped yokes around their hips made of perishable materials such as cotton, wood, or leather to deflect the rubber ball in this "no hands" team sport. Yokes made of carved stone were worn in opening and closing ceremonies for the game; an example is on view in this gallery. Hachas were ornaments that attached to players' yokes during the same ceremonies. The notch at the bottom of the hacha allowed it to sit atop the yoke encircling the player's hips. The ring around the eye of this bird hacha identifies it as a parrot or macaw, a possible reference to the supreme ball players known as the Hero Twins. The Hero Twins boldly defeated the conceited Seven Macaw by removing his teeth and eyes with their blowguns during one of their exploits detailed in Maya creation story known as the Popol Vuh. The Popol Vuh serves as source material for many ballgame-related objects throughout Mesoamerica.
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Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: July 28, 2011