The figure seen here was very likely recycled from an earlier celt, or stone hand axe. Early scholars of the Mezcala such as Carlo Gay argue that the object’s features indicate it was created during an early phase of the Mezcala style. These features include the overall rounded form of the human figure along with the work’s relatively large eyes, a horizontal cut representing the mouth, and how the figure’s “arms” remain attached to the body. Remaining features of the original hand axe can also be seen.
Knowledge to create celts like the one above developed over thousands of years and the objects were often reworked into such figures within Mezcala-Chontal traditions. At this early phase of development, these objects have often been associated with burials, but as time went on these figures were perhaps believed to imbue their owners with authority. This is because hand axes had the ability to protect life or bring death to humans or other animals and reflect some of the most advanced technology used by humans during this period.
[Fine Art of Ancient Lands (now Throckmorton Fine Art), New York, NY];