Lip ornament


Mezzanin: Stories from Mesoamerica

This is a lip plug. In pre-Spanish Mexico, lip plugs were part of a man‘s facial decoration, their shape and material indicating the wearer‘s social status. This lip plug made of rock crystal and gold was part of the insignia of an aristocrat.The lower lip was pierced in order to attach the lip plug. The thicker end rested on the gum which prevented the plug from falling out. The golden front part is shaped like a bird‘s head. The pointed beak and the four-part comb with the spiral attached to its front indicate that this might be the depiction of an eagle or a vulture.This Mixtec-Aztec object was made in the 15th or early 16th century, that is during the time now referred to as late post-classical period.

Object data

Inv. No.


Object Name

Lip ornament


Philipp Becker


Georg Haas (1841 Schlaggenwald - 1914 Schloss Mostau, Westböhmen) - GND


ca. 1500

Accession Date





Rock crystal, gold

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