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 Museum Explorer

Death in the Americas

God of the dead

Height: 60.000 cm
Width: 27.000 cm

AOA 1849,6-29.2

God of the dead

From: Mexico (Aztec)
Date: AD 1325-1521

The Aztec people of Mesoamerica led very ordered lives. They believed in a life after death called Mictlan that was also well ordered. Mictlan was on nine different levels, and the soul of a dead person would go to a certain level depending on how they had died.

This figure is Mictlantecuhtli, the god of the dead who ruled Mictlan with his wife, Mictlancihuatl. He is usually shown as a skeleton, or with a skull head, and statues of him have been found which were spattered with real human blood.