Mesoamerican Art Analysis

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Aside from being depicted in Mesoamerican artwork, the concept of death in Mexico also tells the story of the imposition of Catholicism on Mesoamerican civilizations during colonial Mexico. Artwork during this time period illustrates images of death, such as a deceased nun, a masked death, devil and devil dancers, and ancient decorated skulls (Carmichael and Slayer 1992, 36). According to Stanley Brandes, scholars often have a difficult time minimizing the role of the Zapotec natives while simultaneously emphasizing on the European origins of the Day of the Dead holiday. Much of the pre-Columbian antecedents steams from the iconography of ancient civilizations living throughout Mesoamerica. This includes its huge amounts of skulls and skeletons during the modern Day of the Dead rituals as well as the variations of the meaning of the skeletal depictions as it differs from region to region. …show more content…

This is one of the civilizations that flourished form the ninth to thirteenth century A.D, and is now home to enormous archeological sites. Among the sites, there is evidence of remains of skulls racks, which once displayed the multiple rows of stone-craved skulls of sacrificial victims (Brandes 1998, 190). However, during the Spanish Conquest, much of the design was removed and completely destroyed by the beginning of the Sixteenth century (Shcmal 2010). During the time of the Spanish Conquest, the Aztec and the Zapotec were the leading power holders of the region of southern Mexico. Because of this, it only makes sense that their usage of elaborate representations of death was then carried over into the artwork of colonial Mexico, becoming, then, associated with Dia de Los Muertos (Brandes 2003,

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