SCULPTURE TO THE GODDESS IXCHEL

VIVAS VALDÉS, VEUDI. (2023). NOTES AND RESEARCH – HISTORIAN CHRONICLER OF COZUMEL. INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY THE DIRECTORATE OF TOURISM AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF COZUMEL

In the Mayan cosmogony there is a goddess called Ixchel “The White”, wife of one of the most important gods of the mythology: Itzamná, almighty God creator of the world.

Ixchel was venerated as the goddess of the moon because of the feminine character she possessed. She represented fertility linked to the earth, since the cycles of the moon are the ones that govern the times of sowing and harvesting. It is also associated with rain and with the god Chaac for this same concept, since the latter was the Mayan god of rain.

The Mayas used to represent her as a young woman as a symbol of the waxing moon, or as an old woman as the waning moon, emptying a pitcher full of water on the earth, or also as an old woman weaving on a backstrap loom. She wears a headdress with a snake on her head, and on her skirt she wears bones forming crosses.

She was celebrated in the month “zip” of the Mayan calendar under the title of goddess of medicine. She had four manifestations in four different colors: red, white, black and yellow, which were associated with the four directions of the universe.

It is known that this goddess protected the pilgrims who visited her Sacred Island Cuzamil, today Cozumel, where one of the most important temples dedicated to her cult was located in the archaeological zone of San Gervasio.

From the port of Pole (today Xcaret), canoes with pilgrims departed to this temple to ask for the oracle of Ixchel; young women also went on this pilgrimage to ask for their pregnancies.

This sculpture was made by the Cozumel artist Carlos Francisco Pacheco Polanco, working on a limestone monolith from the land of Cozumel and creating a pre-Hispanic style figure alluding to the Goddess Ixchel.

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