12849. Vera Cruz Caved Stone Collared Peccary Hacha
Ca. 600 to 900 AD.
The peccary, an aggressive wild pig with large, curved ears, and a flexible snout, has a unique profile that is captured perfectly by this stone hacha. The peccary, carved in mottled grey stone, has a curved jaw, squinty eyes and down-turned snout. The peccary is still common today throughout the lowlands of Mescoamerica, however they are extremely rare to find among stone hachas of other animal types, which are far more ubiquitous. This particular hacha bears a striking resemblance to the Collared peccary, a species unique to South America, including the region where these hachas are found. The peccary was a symbol of the underworld among the ancient Mayans, and the oldest of the creator gods in the Popul Vuh are the Great White Peccary and the Great White Tapir. In Mayan lore, peccaries are associated with the constellation of Gemini and re sometimes depicted as mortal animals trapped in hunting snares, and in other contexts depicted as fire-breathing creator gods.