Artefact: Codex Borgia
Current Location: Vatican Library
Also known by name: Codex Borgianus, Manuscrit de Veletri, Codex Yohualli Ehecatl
Date: Between 1250 – 1521
Xipe Totec, a prominent and complex deity in Aztec mythology, holds a multifaceted significance as the god of renewal, agriculture, and spring, embodying the transformative forces of nature within the Mesoamerican belief system; depicted adorned in the flayed skin of sacrificial human victims, this striking imagery serves as a powerful visual representation, underscoring not only his central role in rituals but also symbolizing the intricate and perpetual cycle of life, death, and rebirth, weaving a narrative deeply rooted in the cultural and spiritual tapestry of ancient Mesoamerican civilizations.
His association with Tlacaxipehualiztli, the Aztec festival of the Flaying of Men, delves into the ritualistic brutality of the event. During this grim ceremony, priests would systematically flay sacrificial human victims, embodying the gruesome process of shedding old skin as a symbol of renewal, illustrating the intense and visceral connection between the deity and the ritualistic practices of the festival.
Codex Borgia is a pre-Columbian Mesoamerican manuscript that provides valuable insights into the religious and cultural practices of the Aztec civilization. The codex is believed to have been created in the region of central Mexico, which was the heartland of the Aztec Empire. Named after the Italian cardinal Stefano Borgia, who owned the manuscript in the 18th century.
The artefact is a significant example of the indigenous pictorial writing system used by the Aztecs, known as the codex format. It consists of a series of folded sheets made from animal skins, forming a long, rectangular accordion-like book. The intricate illustrations and hieroglyphic symbols in the Codex Borgia depict various aspects of Aztec cosmology, religion, rituals, and divination.
The content of is primarily focused on the divinatory and ritual aspects of Aztec life. It contains detailed depictions of gods, ceremonies, and calendrical information. The images are accompanied by hieroglyphic texts, which scholars have studied to unravel the meanings and significance of the scenes depicted.
- 100% combed and ring-spun cotton
- Lightweight fabric: 4.2 oz/y² (142 g/m²)
- Retail fit
- Unisex sizing
- Coverstitched collar and sleeves
- Shoulder-to-shoulder taping
- Side seams
Machine wash cold, inside-out.
Use non-chlorine bleach, only when necessary.
Tumble dry low, or hang-dry for longest life.
Cool iron inside-out if necessary. Do not iron decoration.
Do not dry clean.
Wear with pride and respect ancient cultures