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Fiber, Textile, and Weaving Arts

PreColumbian Textile Conference VII / Jornadas de Textiles PreColombinos VII

Aztec

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The World On A Whorl: Considerations On Aztec Spindle Whorl Iconography, Jesper Nielsen Nov 2017

The World On A Whorl: Considerations On Aztec Spindle Whorl Iconography, Jesper Nielsen

PreColumbian Textile Conference VII / Jornadas de Textiles PreColombinos VII

An unpublished collection of Aztec (Late Postclassic central Mexico, ca. 1400-1520) spindle whorls (totaling 33 items) with rich iconographic embellishment is the focus of this paper, which will discuss a set of recurring iconographic themes, such as the ’sun disk’, ’eagles’, ’jade disks or chalchihuites’ and ’cloud-scrolls’, on the whorls. Previous treatments of spindle whorl imagery have tended to regard such motifs merely as decoration, but here I suggest that the repertoire at hand indicate a limited scope of motifs that share some cosmological and religious significance. In a broader perspective these observations point to the potential mythological underpinnings of ...