Amo México - Hearts On Fire June 08 2018, 0 Comments

I’ve fallen in love with Mexican FOLK ART, especially the colourful tin hearts seen in markets all over Mexico. Although the heart symbol has many unique decorative expressions, including tattoos, my  favourite remains the tin heart. During my recent trip to Mexico City, I saw many.

History tells us that the heart symbol appeared in Mayan and Aztec civilizations long before the arrival of the Spanish, though not in the delightful lovely ways we see today.


The Mayan civilization - 1800 BC to AD 250.  During the pre-columbia era, the Mayans held the ritual of human sacrifice. The most common method was decapitation and heart removal in the belief that offering the heart provided nourishment to the gods.

When the Aztec Empire flourished between c. 1345 and 1521 CE the heart held a central position. During the human sacrifice ceremony, the heart would be removed and raised to the sun as an offering to the gods. In the centre of the sunstone monolith (calendar stone) is the face of the solar deity, Tonatiuh, shown holding a human heart in each of his clawed hands. The altar-like stone vessel of the jaguar was used to hold the hearts of sacrificial victims.

Catholocism in Mexico
The Sacred Heart is one of the most common motifs in religious folk art created in Mexico. The Spanish conquest of Mexico brought with it the Catholic religion and images such as stained glass windows and sculpted silver hearts. The devotion to the Sacred Heart is one of the most widely practiced and well-known Roman Catholic devotions. 

Mexican Tin Industry- In Mexico, traditional metal working dates from the Meso-american period with metals such as gold, silver and copper. After the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire metal working went into decline, especially for gold and silver jewellery, but rose again during the colonial period. Today gold, silver, tin and copper are are used to create decorative and functional items such as jewellery, toys, and more.
Here are images of some hearts I brought back home with me.

Hasta luego amigos,