The Mayan hacha (meaning axe) seen here was carved and polished from light green jade to fashion an anthropomorphic figure with a mostly recognizable human face. The face looks forward and has a large hollowed-out eye, perhaps formerly inlaid with additional materials. The figure also has a “mustache” and wears a headdress that contains images associated with maize or corn. These past elements likely associate this work with the god Tlaloc, or Chaac, a deity associated with rain, fertility, and the growing of maize. Hachas like this work would have been worn by players to channel supernatural powers.
This was likely created during the Late Classic period, often considered the height of Mayan civilization. During this period, the Maya created vast cities with large pyramids, canals, and roadways. It was a highly structured society that created amazing works of art, literature, discoveries in sciences such as astronomy, and a vast trading and cultural network covering thousands of miles.