Collection Online
Warrior priest impersonating Xiuhtecuhtli
earthenware, bitumen
69.3 × 37.2 × 31.9 cm
Place/s of Execution
Veracruz, Gulf Coast, Mexico
Accession Number
Pre-Columbian Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Presented through the NGV Foundation by John Warner, Founder Benefactor, 2002
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
The Ancient World
Level 2, NGV International
This monumental naturalistic figure depicts a warrior or dignitary impersonating a deity in a ritual performance. One candidate for the deity may be an early form of Xiuhtecuhtli, the god of fire. His name is translated as xiuitl (turquoise) tecuhtli (lord). In his hand he holds a jawless serpent head staff thought be a depiction of Xiuhcoatl, or fire serpent. On his torso is either a turquoise medallion or a round obsidian mirror.