Showing posts with label Art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Art. Show all posts

Saturday, November 16, 2019


We just learned about the art pattern of Xicalcoliuhqui.

Another ancient Mesoamerican work of art is the Chacmool.

These are sculptures of warriors on their backs, propped up on their elbows with their knees bent and their head turned.
They have a bowl on their stomach, and many people believe these were used to offer sacrifices to mythological gods for fallen warriors.

(from: wikipedia - chacmool)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Six Patriarchs of Hossō - Kōkei

Saturday, November 9, 2019


We just learned about the San Martin Pajapan Monument I.

Another type of Mesoamerican art is Xicalcoliuhqui.

This word means "twisted gourd" and is something that is seen on a lot of art from the Mesoamerican areas from long ago.

It is made up of some small steps that are then connected to a spiral.
Ancient sculptures and paintings used this on buildings, clothing or other works of art.

(from: wikipedia - xicalcoliuhqui)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Byodoin Amitaabha - Jōchō

Saturday, November 2, 2019

San Martín Pajapan Monument 1

We just learned about the Toltec Atlantean figures from Tula.

Another ancient sculpture from Mesoamerica is the San Martín Pajapan Monument 1.

This is another sculpture made by the Olmec people from ancient Mexico, carved some time before 1000 BC.

It is made out of basalt rock, and was found on the top of the San Martin Pajapan volcano in the Mexican state of Veracruz.

The statue is of a young ruler who is bent over and lifting a large bar from the ground.
People think this bar was meant to be for the world tree, and the sculpture was meant to show the earthly world connecting with the spiritual worlds above and below.

(from: wikipedia - )

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Tōdai-ji Nio Guardian Agyō - Unkei

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Toltec Atlantean figures from Tula

We just learned about the Montezuma's Headdress.

Another famous Mesoamerican ancient sculpture is the Toltec Atlantean figures from Tula.

These are four big statues that used to be pillars that held up a roof for a building.
They are called atlantean figures, because they look kind of like sculptures of Atlas holding up the world that were found in Europe long ago.

The sculptures are in the town of Tula in the state of Hidalgo in Mexico.
No one knows for sure when they were built, but people think it was around 750 AD, by the Toltec people who lived there.

The statues are over 15 feet tall, have butterfly shaped armor, sun shields, feathered helmets, and spears.
They were warriors that were meant to serve the mythical Quetzalcoatl from ancient times in Mexico.

(from: wikipedia - atlantean figures)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Asura at Kōfuku-ji temple

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Montezuma's Headdress

We just learned about the Teocalli of the Sacred War.

Another ancient mesoamerican work of art is Montezuma's Headdress.

This is a crown made of feathers sewn together, and decorated with some gold plates.
It is about 46 inches tall and 69 inches wide.
There are feathers from four birds: the cotinga amabilis, the roseate spoonbill, the squirrel cuckoo, and the quetzal.

Most of the feathers on the headdress are from the quetzal

(from: wikipedia - montezuma's headdress)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Kongōrikishi

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Teocalli of the Sacred War

We just learned about the ancient sculpture of The Wrestler.

Another ancient Mesoamerican work of art is the Teocalli of the Sacred War.

This is a stone sculpture that looks like a miniature sized Aztec temple.
Some people believe this was built to be a throne for the ruler of the Aztecs in the 1500s.

(from: wikipedia - teocalli of the sacred war)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Tamamushi Shrine

Saturday, October 5, 2019

The Wrestler

We just learned about the Were-Jaguar Sculpture.

Another ancient Mesoamerican sculpture is The Wrestler.

This is a sculpture of a sitting man, made out of an igneous rock called basalt.

The man has his arms out and bent, and one leg forward and one leg back.
Because he looks like he is moving, some people thought it looked like he was getting ready to wrestle.
Historians don't think he was actually supposed to be a wrestler, but maybe someone doing a special ceremony.

This statue doesn't have special markings to say when it was made, so people are not really sure if it was made around 400 BC or around 1500 BC!

It was found in the Mexico state of Veracruz in 1933.

(from: wikipedia - the wrestler (sculpture))

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Shaka Triad of Hōryūji - Tori Busshi

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Were-Jaguar Sculpture

We just learned about the Aztec Sun Stone.

Another ancient Mesoamerican sculpture is the Were-Jaguar Sculpture.

Some time before 600 BC in the area of Mexico there were a bunch of sculptures created that showed people that seemed to be part jaguar and part human.
Kind of like a werewolf, but with a jaguar so they called it a were-jaguar.

People these days are not really sure what this meant back then, if it was something worshipped by people long ago or if it was some old story, but there are a bunch of these were-jaguar sculptures.

One of them is very famous, and is called the Las Limas figure.
It is about 22 inches tall and shows a person holding a little were-jaguar baby.
The statue is made of greenstone, which means it was made from one of the many greenish rocks found in the area, like omphacite or olivine.

Were-jaguar sculptures had a dip in the top middle of their head, almond shaped eyes with round irises, a frowning mouth with the upper lip lifted up, and gums with no teeth.

(from: wikipedia - werejaguar)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Haniwa

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Aztec Sun Stone

We just learned about the La Mojarra Stela 1.

Another famous Mesoamerican sculpture is the Aztec Sun Stone, made some time around 1500 AD in Mexico.

This stone is about over 11 feet wide, and over 3 feet thick.

The design of the stone is split up into a few different parts.

The very middle is a sculpture of a face that people think was the sun god that the people believed in.
Around the face are four squares representing symbols for past times. The jaguar, wind, rain and water.

The first circle around that is a type of calendar, with different parts of the year shown as symbols like crocodiles, monkeys or dogs.

The second circle has sculptures of arches, feathers, and different lines that people think are for the suns rays.

The last circle on the outside has two big serpents meeting face to face, that have flame carvings all over their bodies.

(from: wikipedia - aztec sun stone)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Shakōki-dogū

Saturday, September 14, 2019

La Mojarra Stela 1

We just learned about the Double Headed Serpent.

Another ancient sculpture from Mesoamerica is the La Mojarra Stela 1 made some time before 200 AD, in Veracruz Mexico.

We've learned before that a stele or stela is a tall stone or wooden slab that has carvings and usually writings on it, to honor someone that died, someone winning a battle, or an important set of words that people need to remember.

This stela is a carving of an warrior in a costume, and it has some writing on it about the warrior.

(from: wikipedia - la mojarra stela 1)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Eight Nested Relic Boxes

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Double Headed Serpent

We just learned about the Serpent Labret with Articulated Tongue jewelry worn by Aztec people in their lip.

Another sculpture from ancient America is the Double Headed Serpent, made around 1500 AD in what is now Mexico.

The sculpture is a wavy snake with a head on either end.
It is made out of wood, turquoise, pine resin, shells and other things.
On the inside it is a wooden snake sculpture, and then turquoise stones were broken into tiny pieces and glued to the wooden body using pine resin.
It has holes for eyes, and some sticky beeswax in it so people think there might have been jewels for eyes before they fell out.
This was a sculpture made by the ancient Aztecs.

(from: wikipedia - double-headed serpent)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Serpent Labret with Articulated Tongue

We just learned about the Olmec Colossal Heads.

Another ancient art from the ancient Americas is the Serpent Labret with Articulated Tongue.

This is a type of jewelry that was worn in someone's pierced lower lip.
The snake would stick out, and the tongue would even move when they moved their head.
In the place now known as Mexico there were people called the Aztecs that would sometimes pierce their lips and wear things in their mouth like that.

It's made of gold, copper and silver, and was made long ago, some time around 1400 AD.

(from: wikipedia - serpent labret with articulated tongue)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Nestorian Stele

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Olmec Colossal Heads

We just learned about the Nubian Pyramids in Africa.

Another group of ancient sculptures are the Olmec Colossal Heads.

These are in the states of Veracruz and Tabasco, in Mexico.
They were made thousands of years ago, by the Olmec people who lived in that area long ago.

Archeologists have found 17 different heads built in the area, and all of them, from 4 feet to 11 feet tall.
Because they are so big and heavy, people think that these heads must have been made to honor rulers like kings or queens from those days.

(from: wikipedia - olmec colossal heads)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: He Zun

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Nubian Pyramids

We just learned about the Musawwarat Es Sufra temple in Sudan.

Another group of ancient African sculptures are the Nubian Pyramids in Sudan.

These pyramids were built a few at a time over thousands of years, from 2000 BC to 300 AD.
They are made of granite and sandstone, and some of them are about 100 feet tall and 26 feet wide.

Over 350 pyramids have been found so far, over hundreds of miles.
The pyramids are all tombs for ancient kings and queens.

Sadly some people that were greedy and hunting for treasure came to these pyramids and destroyed over 40 pyramids looking for treasure, even sometimes using dynamite to blow them up.

Many of the pyramids have still not been fully explored, because they are flooded and the walls collapse.

(from: wikipedia - nubian pyramids)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Phoenix Crown of Empress Xiaoduanxian

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Musawwarat es-Sufra

We just learned about the Lalibela Cross.

Another African sculpture is the Musawwarat es-Sufra temple in Sudan, built some time before the year 300 BC.

This temple has a large sculpture of an elephant, and a room with some very tall columns.
It also has a relief sculpture of some of the ancient gods from the people who lived back then.

(from: wikipedia - musawwarat es-sufra)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Shi Qiang Pan

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Lalibela Cross

We just learned about the Church of Saint George in Lalibela that is built down into the ground.

Another ancient work of African art is the Lalibela Cross, made in Ethiopia some time before 1200 AD.

This is about two feet long, and weighs about 15 pounds.
It is made gold and bronze.

The priests of the churches in Lalibela would bring out this cross, and touch it to people to bless them.

(from: wikipedia - lalibela cross)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Qin Bronze Chariot

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Church of Saint George, Lalibela

We just learned about the Obelisk of Axum in Ethiopia.

Another ancient African sculpture is the Church of Saint George, Lalibela.

This church was made around 1200 AD in the town of Lalibela, Ethiopia.
It was carved down into the ground out of the rock 100 feet deep.

The church was built when the King of Ethiopia had a vision of Saint George and God that told him to make the church.

(from: wikipedia - church of saint george, lalibela)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Gouji Zibai Pan

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Obelisk of Axum

We just learned about the Akan Goldweights used as measurements for gold, and to tell stories.

Another ancient African sculpture is the Obelisk of Axum, made some time around 300 AD in Ethiopia.

A very long time ago in Ethiopia when important people died, they would build towers above where they were buried.
The town of Axum where this tower was built has earthquakes sometimes, so most of the towers like this fell down and broke.

During a war, people from another country took this giant obelisk as a war trophy, and then about 50 years later it was finally brought back to Ethiopia and put back together.

The obelisk has carvings of doors and windows on it, and it is also sometimes called a stele or hawelt/hawelti.

(from: wikipedia - obelisk of axum)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Li Gui

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Akan Goldweights

We just learned about the Burkina Faso Masks.

Another work of African sculpture is the Akan Goldweights, made around 1400 AD in West Africa.

These are sculptures that were used as weights to measure how much gold someone was trading.
Each sculpture had a different weight, so if someone had found some gold and wanted to trade it in, they would use different weights to figure out how much money it was all worth.

The weights were made as different shapes to tell stories about the Akan people of West Africa.
Each shape had different meanings, like a shield might tell a story about bravery, or swords with two sharp edges might mean that two people were working together for peace.

There are many of these old gold weights in the world in museums, and people even today make them as souvenirs or gifts to keep as a reminder of the past.

(from: wikipedia - akan goldweights)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Flying Horse of Gansu

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Burkina Faso Masks

We just learned about the Gabon Mask worn by people to tell stories.

Another type of mask the one worn by people in Burkina Faso.

There are many different people living in this country, like the Mossi, Bwa, Winiama, Lobi and Bobo.

All of these people make different masks, and they wear them for special things like funerals to talk to the spirits of nature that they believe in.

(from: wikipedia - art of burkina faso)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Mao Gong Ding