El Tajín: Ball game by Unknown Artist - ca. 600 CE El Tajín El Tajín: Ball game by Unknown Artist - ca. 600 CE El Tajín

El Tajín: Ball game

relief; stone sculpture •
  • Unknown Artist Unknown Artist ca. 600 CE

El Tajín is one of the most famous pre-Hispanic eastern cities in Mesoamerica, both because of its connection with the great city of Teotihuacan and because of its diverse ball games. El Tajín is located in the current municipality of Papantla de Olarte, near where the Totonaca cultural event Cumbre Tajín takes place annually in the Takilsukut Theme Park.

This characteristic element, the ball game, is undoubtedly central to Mesoamerican cultures. In the National Museum of Anthropology of Mexico City, there is an excellent representation of this panel. In the Green Area of ​​the Gulf Coast Room, we find different elements of the Gulf Cultures in real size, so we can walk near them.

In the representation of the North Ball Game, it is possible to observe a series of reliefs in wide, carved panels. Usually characters with feathered attire are represented surrounded by snakes, most of the time bicephalous and feathered as well.

Here it is possible to tour a small part of this ball game, admiring the reliefs of two panels. In one of them it is possible to observe the Tajín God resting on the bottom of the sea, as it is identified in the Totonac legend of the God of Thunder that was placed in the ocean to calm it and avoid natural catastrophes in these lands, collected centuries later.

- Anael González

P.S. You might be also interested in the Marajoara culture.