Aztec Xochipilli Analysis

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Xochipilli: Prince of Flowers

Many ancient Mesoamerican cultures attributed most of their beliefs and rituals with the practice of entheogenics. The anthropological evidence discovered in their art validates that the many ancient cultures used the psychoactive substance in several plants for spiritual, religious, and psychotherapeutic purposes. The Aztec in particular show evidence of priest, warriors, and anyone of great nobility to have consumed particular plants to achieve a worldly experience for ritual or religious purposes. The picture to the right is a statue discovered in the mid 1800’s on the side of Mt. Popocatépetl near Tlalmanalco, Mexico. The statue dates to around 1450AD and is said to have been worshipped by the Aztec from 1500AD to 1600AD. Completely carved out of basalt this statue weighs over 600 pounds and is composed of two parts; the figure and the base on which it sits on. This statue is named Xochipilli which broken down in Nahuatl xochitl means “flower” and pilli means “prince.” It is known that is statue was represented as the god of art, dance, agriculture, beauty, and song. The carved symbols that adorn this statue are what make this a perfect example of how the Aztec used entheogenics in their ritual and religious practices.

When the statue is closer examined we are able to determine the intended nature of belief behind this statue as well as how it was incorporated into Aztec culture. Firstly the figure is seated with its legs crossed and arms settled atop his knees, in a later view it is noticed that the figure seems to have been carrying and object in its hands. The head is looking upward with an open mouth and completely open eyes. These features on the face suggest that it might be a mask and the posture of the figure depicts a position of chanting or in a state of trance. From the front view we are able to see that there is headdress and ear spools, both of which depict high social class. The figure is...
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