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The Creative Genius of the South
Growing from Religious Fervor
and a Native Talent for Plastic Expression

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1.    Mounts Ixtaccihuatl and Popocatepetl, volcanoes to the east of Mexico City. All of the high peaks of Mexico appear, from left to right, on a South to North progression.

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2.    Quetzalcoatl as high priest, teaching the ruling council.

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3.    Composite scene representing the temples of Tenochtitlan, ca. 1325 AD, the Aztec capital (present day Mexico City), and Teotihuacan, site of an ancient temple complex, in use about 300-600 AD, where polychrome murals adorned the walls of some buildings, many depicting deities later revered by the Aztec.

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4.    Deer dancers and musicians from the Yaqui tribe of northern Mexico.

 

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5.    Group of pre-conquest artists decorating an Olmec figurine, possibly based on one Rivera had in his private collection.

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6.    Toltec artisans at work polishing a round stele resembling a human figure. One of the artists has a jaguar tattoo.

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7.    Jaguar deity, sacred to the Olmec, Maya, Toltec, Mixtec, and Aztec people.

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8.    Xolotl, Rivera's pet Xoloitzcuintli dog, a breed developed by the Aztecs whose name means "dog of Xolotl", the god of twins and things deformed. Rivera and Kahlo collected them and used them as models in their paintings.

 

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9.    Nezahualcoyotl, 1403-1470, poet, inventor, and King of Texcoco, which historians now describe as the Athens of the Western world. He is pictured with a flying machine he invented.

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10.    Mixtec metalworkers. The Aztec referred to Northwest Oaxaca as Mixtlan, "place of the clouds." The work of these artisans was highly regarded and many were brought to Tenochtitlan to make gold jewelry using the lost wax process.



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