Maize Goddess Chicomecoatl

Maize Goddess Chicomecoatl

1400–1519 CE
Culture
Aztec
Locale
Central Mexico
Country
Mexico
deity, sculpture, stone (worked rock)
Volcanic stone
Museum Purchase
1957.31

Unknown Aztec Artist, Maize Goddess Chicomecoatl. Central Mexico, 1400–1519 CE. Volcanic Stone. 17.25 x 9.125 x 3 in. Museum Purchase, 1957.31

Dimensions
height: 17.25 in, 43.8150 cm; width: 9.125 in, 23.1775 cm; depth: 3 in, 7.6200 cm
Department
Mayer Center, Art of the Ancient Americas
Collection
Art of the Ancient Americas

Unknown Aztec artist
Central Mexico
Maize Goddess Chicomecoatl, 1400–1519CE
Volcanic stone
Museum Purchase, 1957.31

Chicomecoatl, or Seven Serpent, the Aztec goddess of corn and sustenance was associated with both fertility and agricultural abundance. During the annual Huey Tozozotli festival that honored the corn plant, corn cobs and maize stalks would be bundled and carried by young women to be left at the Temple of Chicomecoatl. Maize, a staple food for Central Mexico, played a prominent role in creation accounts of humans, who were thought to be made of corn dough. Chicomecoatl could, therefore, be understood as the manifestation of earth’s sustenance and of humans themselves.  

Images of the corn goddess feature a tall, rectangular paper headdress known as an amacalli or paper crown, adorned with rosettes at the corners and consisting of multiple tiers and frequently depict her carrying ears of corn in her hands. Here, she holds four, two in each hand. 

Further Reading:

Indian Art of the Americas (Denver Art Museum Quarterly, 1960), Book, Art - History, Denver Art Museum

Exhibition History
  • “ReVision: Art in the Americas” — Denver Art Museum, 2/16/2020 – 11/8/2020