Procreator deities, patrons of the lustful and dissolute ones; ethnic groups prone to nudity; masturbation and rites involving homosexual acts are some themes treated in the latest issue of Arqueologia Mexicana dedicated to Sexuality in Mesoamerica.
Upon Spaniards arrival, many native groups practices were considered taboo, particularly those with profound sexual-cosmogonical connotations. Prejudices around these aspects transcended in time and were not subject of studies.
Codices, Colonial chronicles, archaeological pieces and ethnographic data are the objects of study to learn about the lascivious activities of ancient inhabitants of Mexico; in the 1920s decade a collection was integrated with Prehispanic objects related to sexuality from Huasteca and Maya regions; they were placed in a secret hall at the former National Museum.
The magazine published by the National Institute of Anthropology and History
and Editorial Raices uncovers the nuances of sexuality among ancient Maya people and sexual transgression, among other themes.
Specialists like Alfredo Lopez Austin, Stephen Houston and Karl Taube; Carlos Navarrete, Felix Baez-Jorge, Guilhem Olivier, Miriam Lopez and Jaime Echevarria, as well as Yolotl Gonzalez Torres, are authors of the articles.
As quoted by anthropologist Alfredo Lopez Austin, each of these cultures had a peculiar attitude facing eroticism. Among kindest were Huasteca and Otomi cultures, who believed were created by lustful patrons.
Among Nahuas, being Mexicas part of them, pleasure was perceived as a divine gift such as food, joy, vital force and daily rest. It was a question of moderating the enjoyment of that gift as well as the other presents given by deities.
Among Maya groups, as codices, cave painting and legends reveal, there were more modalities of eroticism; sexual identity was fluid as experts Stephen Houston and Karl Taube point out. Some scenes show vigorous old gods copulating with young goddesses, or war captives with huge phalluses.
Masturbation of the virile member is one of the most reproduced scenes in sculptures and cave paintings, since it was in such places that semen fertilized soil. Carlos Navarrete mentions in his article that this act would be a constant until Mexica times.
An article regarding the Olmeca Head of Hueyapan, Veracruz is included, as well as one about anthropology of behavior and archaeology by Xabier Lizarraga.