Stone bust in the British Museum, London, England. Explore the British Museum collection and journey through two million years of human history. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. The head is disproportionately large compared to the narrow shoulders and slender torso. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object. Stone. Well, the plant from which maize derives, the teosinte, is wonderfully adaptable. And this is pretty obvious in the young maize god - the sculpture was apparently a manifestation of mythological beings resulting from the third Maya creation. British Museum. His headdress is a stylised ear of corn and his hair is the silk of the corn. Object 9 of 100. Am 1923, Maud 8. This statue shows the Maya maize god as a youthful and handsome man with a stylised corn headdress. Apr 11, 2015 - Explore Madame Delacroix's board "Corn God" on Pinterest. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. But the culinary secrets of the ancient Mesoamerican cultures have been preserved for centuries. The model is (at maximum) 8.2 centimetres high, 24.2 cm long and 15.3 cm wide. In … Such a man or school whose discovery gave the world a food for ever would have been worthy of remembrance and after the fashion of the ancient world deified. 1901,1012.6. It needed to be cooked in a mixture of water and white lime. For them, lime was synonymous with death, as they used lime to disintegrate organic matter. If you are looking from below, as you should be, you would be looking up directly into his open compassionate gaze. Today maize still forms a large part of the Central American diet in the form of tortillas. Grains of corn boiled with lime and water are easily milled to obtain a nutritionally rich dough or ‘masa’. It is one of several models found in graves at El-Amra in Egypt, and is now in the British Museum in London. //-->, After the Ice Age: Food and Sex (9000 - 3500 BC), Maya maize god (made around 1,300 years ago). google_color_link="000000"; It provides a visual starting point for exploration of the importance of corn and of the harvest cycle as well as the religious beliefs of the Maya. Sign in|Recent Site Activity|Report Abuse|Print Page|Powered By Google Sites, Kakiemon elephants - Porcelain from Japan, Miniature of a Mughal prince - Watercolour from India, Reformation centenary broadsheet from Germany, Russian revolutionary plate - Porcelain from St Petersburg, Shi'a religious parade standard - Steel alam from Iran. From the masa tortillas, tostadas, totopos, sopes, tlacoyos, chalupas and other Mexican streetfoods are baked. Without it, the two key nutrients in the vegetable - the amino acids and vitamin B - would not be released. Buy Mayan Maize God Statue: Statues - FREE DELIVERY possible on eligible purchases Here, in the heart of the British Museum, we have a god of maize. British Museum. 'It's always present in one way or another - either to be eaten, or to be looked at, or to be worshipped. The white corn masa so loved and revered today in Mexico and amongst Mexican communities abroad is still largely unknown to bakers across the world. Neil focuses on the world of the Mayan civilisation and a stone Maize God, discovered … Nowadays we like to say 'we are what we eat', but for generations among the faithful, it's been equally true to say 'we worship what we eat'. This figure has not got his eyes closed as you say Ian. Welcome to the History 2701 Wiki, created by the students in Prof. Ari Daniel Levine's World Civilizations I survey at the University of Georgia's Department of History. Photo: Jerry Driendl, Map showing where this object was found. Genius is a commodity every bit as valuable as gold or silver and for this reason alone the God myth was probably created. For thousands of years the Mayans worshiped the maize god and believed that their ancestors were made from maize dough. Ming banknote from China. The Maya objects in this room are from Mexico but this culture, which is still very much alive, stretches through Guatemala, Belize and parts of Honduras and El Salvador. From Indigenous clothing and Mexican skulls to necklaces made of dolphin teeth, this is one of the most extensive online museum … In the Middle East - as we saw in the last programme - it was wheat and barley; in China millet and rice; in Papua New Guinea taro; and in Africa sorghum. The Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, retells the history of human development from the first stone axe to the credit card, using 100 selected objects from the Museum. Their father was defeated by the Lords of Death in the Underworld. Nine thousand years ago, the maize cob was very hard, and eating it raw would have made you very ill. AD 175. In the heart of the British Museum we have a god of maize. Many regional artistic traditions existed side by side, usually coinciding with the changing boundaries of Maya polities. Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. Across the world, people began to identify particular plants that would provide them with food. It was built in AD 715 to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of his accession to the throne. Joint project of BBC Radio 4 and the British Museum, consisting of 100 objects used ancient art, industry, ... Maya maize god statue. Maize was the Maya's most important food and was worshipped as a god. It was not until 1930 that it was discovered that pellagra was due to a deficiency in niacin (a mineral that transforms fat and proteins into readily usable body energy). Photo by BabelStone. Early farmers in Mexico grew chilli to make their maize taste better. In our next programme, we'll be turning from the food of the gods to the vessels that it's cooked in. Under the Mexica ruler, Moctezuma, corn became a symbol of life and fertility and was offered to the Gods as sacrifice. In this part of the world at this time around nine thousand years ago, other food resources were very thin on the ground. Description. 10% off for Members Become a Member and enjoy a 10% discount at all of the Museum's shops. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. A common medium of Maya sculpture that is almost entirely lost to observers today is that of wood. After all, people have been stealing from one another from the dawn of time. From the 1730s symptoms of digestive disturbances, dementia and death were recorded. By the seventeenth century around 60% of the diet of southern Europe consisted of untreated corn. This willingness to venerate the food on our plate seems to arrive at a particular moment in human development - and it tells us much more about a society than its favourite supper dish. Shop unique, award-winning Artisan treasures by NOVICA, the Impact Marketplace. The maize god, Hun Hunahpu, was one of the most important owing to his connection with this vital staple crop. The disease occurred because the Europeans were not able to digest the corn’s nutrients. For generations, this was passed on through oral traditions before finally being written down in the seventeenth century. A History of the World in 100 Objects is a joint project of BBC Radio 4 and the British Museum. 10% off for Members Become a Member and enjoy a 10% discount at all of the Museum's shops. The discovery and opening of the Maize Mountain – the place where the corn seeds are hidden – is still one of the most popular of Maya tales. The head of the god is covered with an enormous headdress in the shape of a stylised corn cob, and his hair is like the silky strands that line the inside of a cob of corn, inside the wrapping leaves. Read more. Given that we are Homo sapiens sapiens (of very little genius) most likely our slavish greed lust for the precious woods from the dwindling forests of the world will bring a similar price for our children to bear in the absence of any amazingly joined-up genius of our own. The other problem being the genetically-modified maize, it's almost personally offensive - and religiously - that you are playing God, as it were ... it's just very sensitive. This statue shows the Maya maize god as a youthful and handsome man with a stylised corn headdress. Cylinder Vase with dancing maize god, 675-725 AD, Maya culture, eastern Peten lowlands, Guatemala or Belize, earthenware with slip - Gardiner Museum, Toronto - DSC01183.JPG 2,580 × 4,112; 3.35 MB So the European colonisers in Mexico did not eat tortillas or other masa products. Statue of the Maya maize god from Copán in Honduras. The sculpture was probably carved from two different blocks of limestone, one for the head and another for the torso. The British Museum shop has a range of unique gifts, replicas, games and more. There were no easily domesticated animals - as you would find pigs, sheep or cattle elsewhere - and the staples were a trinity of plants that were slowly cultivated and tamed: squashes, beans and maize. Maize was the Mayan's most important food source. google_ad_type="text_image"; : Attribution: Photograph by Mike Peel ( The answer lies not in maize's divine connections, but in the environment that Central America offered. Shell earflare frontals (1995.489a, b) depict the severed head of the Maya Maize God, the personification of a newly harvested ear of corn. Stone statue, found in Honduras. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so. The Maya maize god. The arms are bent, the palms of the hands face outwards - one raised, one lower - giving an impression of serene power. It's able to grow in both the lush wet lowlands and the dry mountainous regions, which means that farmers can plant crops in any of their seasonal dwellings. Head of Interpretation and Volunteers, Stuart Frost, highlights objects from the tour and looks at stories that, until recently, have been overlooked or underrepresented in museums and galleries. Read Maya Maize God Statue by with a free trial. May 22, 2020 - Buy Marble dust figurine, 'Maya Maize God' today. Maya Maize God | The British Museum Images. It has virtually no nutritional value but, as we all know, it's uniquely able to liven up dull carbohydrates - and it shows that we've been foodies for as long as we've been farmers. Visit the online shop. google_ad_width=120; Corn had a mythical status in Mexico, being an ancient and nutritious crop full of vital minerals like niacin, calcium and riboflavin. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. google_color_url="135355"; Like the maize plant, the maize god is decapitated at harvest time, and is then reborn - fresh, young, and beautiful at the beginning of each new growing season. The Spanish conquistadores did not understand the need for lime. Explore the British Museum collection and journey through two million years of human history. Just as Necessity has been called the mother of invention I have heard it said that had there been no gods it would have been necessary to invent them. Collection online showcases more than four million of the Museum's objects. Museum stories Desire, love, identity: exploring LGBTQ histories A new audio commentary tour exploring LGBTQ histories in the Museum’s collection has just been launched. Explore the collection See all. The disease was later named pellagra. google_ad_height=600; Material: Stone The statue is of the Mayan maize god. It became a staple for poor rural European populations since its yield was much higher than wheat. It killed thousands. The British Museum shop has a range of unique gifts, replicas, games and more. View and buy royalty free and rights managed stock photos at The British Museum Images. Aug 26, 2013 - This sculpture of the Maize God was comissioned by Waxaklajuun Ub'aah K'awiil (also known as '18-Rabbit'), the thirteenth ruler of Copán.