I recently visited the British Museum, mainly to see the Egyptian antiquities. Whilst the vast Pharaonic display did not disappoint, what I found fascinating was the Museum's incredible collection of Aztec and Mayan objects. This jade mosaic ritual mask of Tezcatlipoca [above] had me hypnotized. Tezcatlipoca was one of the Creator Gods from central Mexico's 15th-16th century AD Aztec civilization.
This Tezcatlipoca image is called "the Skull of the Smoking Mirror." Tezcatlipoca created the Gods, Warriors and Sorcerers and he is said to have carried a "magic mirror that gave off smoke and killed his enemies." When you look at this skull the "mirrored" eyes seem to engage you and follow you in a very disconcerting manner.
This is the mask of Quetzalcoatl "the feathered serpent" another Mesoamerican deity in Mayan and Aztec civilizations, first appearing around the time of Christ.
Quetzalcoatl developed into the patron god of Aztec priesthood, learning and knowledge. Here he is as the "feathered serpent" and part of a frieze on an Aztec temple wall.
This photoshop construction was tagged Quetzalcoatl. Some misguided enthusiast has gone to a lot of trouble in visualizing a "feathered serpent." I'm not sure the Mayans would think much of this.