Size: 9.5" x 5.5" x 1"
Material: Filled Resin
|Name: VISION SERPENT
Time: c. AD 550 -950
Location: Mayan Culture, Central Mexico
The Maya were one of the greatest and most advanced
civilizations in the New World. Their cities, architecture,
and art astounded the European Conquistadors. They had great
libraries, advanced mathematics, and a knowledge of astronomy
which often exceeded their European contemporaries. The spirit
serpent is a crucial figure in Maya religion because it could
provide a direct link between this world and the next. Invoking
the spirit serpent required a blood sacrifice by the invoker!
This was usually obtained by piercing the body and dripping
blood on specially prepared jaguar papers. In this reproduction
of a Mayan stele, the blood soaked papers are shown in a bowl
at the bottom. With appropriate incantations, the paper is ignited
and, if successful, the arising smoke forms into the spirit
serpent which can bring forth the person or god that you are
attempting to contact. The spirit, often an ancestor, is shown
emerging from the mouth of the serpent. This ritual, often publically
witnessed, was one of the most important and sacred parts of
Mayan religious life.
ID #: MYSW0028