A woman’s head is shown upon the sign for a mountain. The head wears a headdress with green feathers and a necklace with blue beads and gold pendants. Above it is a recumbent head of a woman which is topped by a large flower and circled by golden feathers. The text describes the ceremonies honoring the hills in which representations of hills are adorned with faces.
This month, identified as that of Luke the Evangelist, is called Festival of the hills. This month was dedicated to Tlaloc, the god of rain, but the headdress of the head upon the mountain resembles that of Xochiquetzal (Flower feather), goddess of the earth, love, artists, pregnant women, and the moon who is sometimes named the wife of Tlaloc. The recumbent head above her with its flower may also allude to Xochinquetzal.
As Fray Bernardino de Sahagún observed: the Mexicans “are held to be barbarians and of very little worth; in truth, however, in matters of culture and refinement, they are a step ahead of other nations." We explore the history and legacy of the Nahua and Maya civilizations, both of which challenge our preconceptions.