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Cosijo was among the most important gods of the ancient Zapotec people. They invoked this deity, associated with rainfall, as the “great spirit within the lightning.” Representations of Cosijo combine elements of the earth-jaguar and sky-serpent, both linked to fertility. His eyebrows depict the heavens, his lower lids represent clouds, and his forked serpent’s tongue represents a bolt of lightning. Zapotecs placed urns like this one in tombs.

Mexico, 200 BC – AD 750 Monte Alban, Mexico, Oaxaca. Made of fired clay. Dated about 450, Epoch III. Dimensions are 21 x 12 x 11 in. (53.3 x 30.5 x 27.9 cm)

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