Inside Room 27 the Mexico gallery at the British Museum.

Room 27

Museum Missions

Key information

Free wifi available – use a smartphone or tablet

Suitable for all ages

Investigate Mexico using these fun family missions.

For thousands of years the people of Central America have made representations of fantastic creatures which are part of their worldview. They created sculptures to represent animals they encountered locally, such as rabbits or monkeys, as well as animals from religious beliefs like fire serpents.

Find out about these animals and more as you look for objects and use your phone or tablet for the pose and perform missions.


Find the fire serpent, Xiuhcoatl, pictured here. Once you've found it, look for the song written beneath. Record a video of your family performing the song. Take turns to read each of the lines and give your best dramatic performances of a fiery snake.

The Aztec people used the spoken word to pass traditions and stories from one generation to another with songs and poetry being important to them. This song was written by an Aztec ruler in Nahuatl, an indigenous language that continues to be spoken today in Central America.




For the Aztecs, the snake represented a powerful animal able to move between the ground, water, tree canopy and sky above.
Think about all the animals and wildlife that you encounter where you live, choose one together - what makes that animal important to you and your family?
Here's a pottery vase in the form of a dog – what would you create to represent your chosen animal?


Can you find the Turquoise mosaic double-headed serpent? Once you've discovered it, find out the following:

  • How many teeth does the serpent have? Start counting now!
  • Part of the decoration on the serpent represents feathers. Can you spot them?


Coiled rattlesnake figure

Coiled granite snake
Take a photo of the youngest person in your group coiled up as tightly as they can, like this rattlesnake.
Collection online

Yaxchilan lintels

Carved limestone lintel showing bloodletting ritual
Pick a scene from the lintels and get your family to copy it. Now capture it on camera.
Collection online

Monkey vessel

Onyx vessel in the form of a crouching monkey
Take a photo of one of your family impersonating this monkey scratching its head.
Collection online

Ocelot vessel

Offering vessel in the form of an ocelot
Take a selfie of your family all grinning like this feline. Who's got the biggest smile?
Collection online


Supported by

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Samsung Electronics is proud to sponsor the Digital Discovery Centre at the British Museum, as part of our global commitment to youth and education. We have been working together in partnership since 2008, developing an innovative digital learning programme offered to schools and families. We are delighted that over 20,000 visitors every year are using Samsung's latest technology to explore and discover the Museum's collection in new ways. By introducing our advanced technology into a learning environment, we hope to open the door to a world of possibilities.

Find out more about Samsung 

Sponsorship case study: Samsung