1 of 9 images

Mexican Ceramic Skull Sculpture Handcrafted Folk Art, Edition 2/30


The word tzompantli or tzompantle comes from the Náhuatl (Aztec) language and means skull rack or scaffold of skulls. In different Mesoamerican cultures, skulls from the sacrificed were placed in wood racks to keep the gods satisfied. For the Aztecs, sacrifices had a sacred purpose; they helped to keep the sun in the sky, and with it, preserve life. The Tzompantlí Skull is Mexican artist, Omar Hernández’s most representative piece, showing how the ancient cultures of Mexico view death. Everything has a cycle, and when your body stops working, you don’t die but rather transform to become part of the universe around you. Death exists to give life. Today, Oaxacans and Mexicans see happiness and joy alongside death and mourning. People still fear death, but they reflect on it and remember their loved ones with celebration. This celebration, when the souls of the dead come back to share a single day with the living is called, “Day of the Dead.” Materials and technique This detailed skull is made using the pastillage technique, which consists in placing small skulls on fresh clay, where once dry, it is put in the oven for the first bake and then painted with organic pigments and put back into the oven to color. The artist’s selection of Fine white and Oaxaca’s Donaji clay make each skull a true masterpiece. Omar uses natural pigments from soil minerals and oxides (copper and manganese) to decorate each piece. He finds these in the different types of soil near his house in the Central Valley of Oaxaca and in the Mixtec Region on his routine walks. He says, “Sometimes I stop in the highway to collect a bit of soil when I see a beautiful color. We just find each other on the way!” Made in Oaxaca, México Limited edition of 30 skulls.


  • Creator
  • Production type
    Limited Edition
  • Production time
    Available Now
  • Period
  • Materials and techniques
  • Condition
    Excellent. This piece is new and handmade so no piece is identical to another. Due to the handcrafted nature of our products, slight variations enhance authenticity..
  • Dimensions

    H 6.7 in. x W 5.91 in. x D 9.06 in.

    H 17 cm x W 15 cm x D 23 cm

  • Seller location
    Queretaro, MX
  • Reference number

Shipping, Returns & Payment

  • Online Payment Methods
    1stdibs accepts the following payment methods
  • Item Invoice
    Generate an invoice that you can customize and print.

About The Maker

Atentica Collective

Atentica Collective

View Profile
At ATENTICA we seek out quietly successful artisans, designers, and artists mainly in Mexico. Here you can discover great artwork from isolated towns and places who have kept their traditions while innovating to bring the best techniques with a modern approach. At ATENTICA we are currently focusing on our second generation of artists, seeking techniques that are in danger of being lost due to the lack of artists and artisans who still practice them.

About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2017
Typical response time: 7 hrs
Located in Queretaro, MX
You may also contact the seller by phoneCall seller through 1stdibs
More From This Seller
Mexican Ceramic Skull Sculpture Handcrafted Fol...
Omar Hernández
Mexican Figurative Sculptures
Imagine a drink only drunk in weddings between royalty, accompanying the dead in their transit to the underworld, and celebrating military victories or successful commercial expediti...
Mexican Ceramic Corn Skull Sculpture Hand Craft...
Omar Hernández
Mexican Figurative Sculptures
Ceramic, Clay
“My purpose in making this skull is to represent the different types of native maize that since remote times have brought food security to our ancestors, giving them the time to deve...
Mexican Day of the Dead Ceramic Skull Hand-made...
Omar Hernández
Mexican Figurative Sculptures
Ceramic, Clay
You can almost smell the spicy aroma of the chilies in this skull. Mexican artist, Omar Hernández creates a vivid representation of the ingredient that forever changed the flavor of ...
Mexican Handmade Ceramic Skull Sculpture Collec...
Omar Hernández
Mexican Figurative Sculptures
"As a Mexican and Oaxacan, but more as Omar, I see death as something present. It is something that is a part of life and when you think about death, you begin to value a lot of thi...
You May Also Like
Elizabeth Allen Alice in Wonderland Ceramic Art...
Elizabeth Allen
Ceramic, Paint
Add a whimsical touch to your home with ceramic artwork sculpture by Elizabeth Allen, signed and dated 1982. This surrealist interpretation of the famed Lewis Carroll characters ...
1960s Man O'War Pottery Vessel by Laura Stanczy...
Laura Stanczyk
American Figurative Sculptures
Ceramic, Earthenware
Executed by RISD potter, Laura Stanczyk, circa 1967-69. Heavy, thick walled slab constructed pottery vessel representing the venomous giant siphonophore, the Man O' War or Physalia p...
Terra Cotta Mask Art Deco Czech like Goldscheider
Czech Ceramics
These 3 dimensional masks do not come up very often. Made in the Austrian tradition like Goldscheider, it is not marked. After, many years of working with these masks, we have learne...
Moroccan Handcrafted Ceramic Lidded Urn from Fe...
Moroccan Artist
Moroccan Urns
Large Moroccan glazed ceramic urn with lid from Fez. Granada style ceramic handcrafted and hand-painted with Moorish foliate designs in blue, teal, Safran and red colors on ivory b...
Contemporary Ceramic Cup by Rozenn Bigot
Rozenn Bigot
French Ceramics
A contemporary ceramic cup by Rozenn Bigot with white glaze decoration. Signed and dated under the base " Zou " 2012. Unique piece
Important Ceramic Plate by Alain Gaudebert, cir...
Alain Gaudebert
French Decorative Dishes and Vide-Poche
An important ceramic plate by Alain Gaudebert. Perfect original conditions. Signed under the base "Gaudebert". circa 1980-1990.
Antique Salt Glaze Buff Colored Stoneware Figur...
English Animal Sculptures
Pottery, Stoneware
A finely modeled stoneware pottery buff colored figure of a standing goat on base. A very rare example and unrecorded in any of the standard references. The figure is very well mode...
Painted Terra Cotta Rooster
French Ceramics
A painted terra cotta rooster.

Why Shop on 1stdibs?

Learn More

Only Vetted, Professional Sellers

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

Fully Insured Global Deliveries