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 Museum Explorer

Gods and spirits in
the Americas

The Maize God

Height: 90 cm
Width: 54 cm
Depth: 40 cm

 

AOA 1886-321

The Maize God

From: Copán, Honduras (Maya)
Date: AD 600-800

Maize, or corn as it is often called, was the most important food crop in Mesoamerica. Without a good maize harvest the Maya people could starve, so they worshipped the Maize God to make sure that a plentiful crop would grow. In Maya legend the gods even moulded the first humans out of white and yellow corn.

This sculpture shows the Maize God as a handsome young man. His wavy hair looks like the tassel on an ear of corn. The ear is the part of the plant that is eaten.