Teotihuacan Culture
Topics: Mesoamerica, Color, Green / Pages: 7 (1718 words) / Published: Jul 18th, 2016

History has been made up of many different cultures, each learning from each other, and previous ones. In Mesoamerica, there were many different cultures reigning at the same time, but there was always one stronger, and more accomplished than the rest among them were the Olmec, and the Teotihuacan cultures. Their artworks have helped us decipher the other artworks from other cultures before, during and after their times.
The Olmec culture is one of the oldest cultures in Mesoamerica. The Olmecs were known as one of the oldest cultures, as well as, the mother culture of Mesoamerican cultures and were estimated to be around from 1000 to 500 BC. The name Olmec comes from the Mexica cultures that came after. It was not the name that the people
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The people of Teotihuacan adopted the tradition of facing their deceased with masks. While certain aspects remained the same, such as the material used, jade, and the technique used to make the masks. Unlike the Olmec masks, however, the masks made Teotihuacan appear to be more proportional to human head to body ratios, and the color is a dark white color with patches of a greenish-blue with grey. The change in color from the deep green color of jade to the dark white with patches of grey and green, is evidence of the intense heat that the mask was put under. Due to the lack of corpses found, it can be said that the mask was placed on the corpse before the bodies were cremated and then moved onto the body bundle. When creating the mask, the teotihuacan people used the same technique as the Olmecs, and while there was still use no negative space in certain areas such as the mouth and nose, the depth is much deeper than those made for the eyes. There are still holes made in the earlobes to attach the face mask to the head of the deciesed before cremation.
Later in history, in Templo Mayor, named so by the Spanish, meaning The Great Temple, archiologists found another Teotihuacan mask (image 4). After studying the artificat, art historians came to the conclusion that the mask they found was actually a fake Teotihuacan mask, that was created long after the people died
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The Templo Mayor Mask is also larger than the Olmec mask. The color is similar to that of the teotihuacan mask, in that it is a deep white color with spots of green from the jade prior to being exposed to extreme heats. It can be assumed that since this was an imitation of the Teotihuacan people’s mask, that the same technique to create the older masks, was used to create this mask too. Although there is no negative space like in the older masks, the incisions are noticeably deeper than those from the previous cultures. Unlike the previous cultures, this mask was created to be used as an offering from ancient cities, rather than a face for a body bundle. While this piece is a replica of a teotihuacan mask, which is evident through the technique in which it was made and certain characteristics. While the conventionalized imagery that has been evident through the past masks has been combined to create the mask found in Templo Mayor. The snarling mouth evident in this mask comes from ancient Mesoamerican cultures like the Olmec. The imitation artist took different characteristics from different ancient cultures and combined them, not knowing that they were from different time periods, not simply an evolution of art throughout one culture. The snarling mouth on the mask was taken from the Olmec culture, while the open eyes were

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