This is a sourcebook and treasury of unique designs, in a collection never published before—300 original motifs created by the Aztecs, Toltecs, Totonacs, and others—all ready for use by the artist, illustrator, designer, hobbyist, and handicrafter. As an inexpensive source of unusual themes, this volume is unparalleled.
The designs were found on malacates,
small clay spindle weights or whorls made by the pre-Conquest peoples of Mexico and discovered in archeological digs. The unknown artists showed great imagination and originality in decorating the essentially round objects, each with its hole at center. In the large outer circles appear motifs of the humanlike deities, animals both real and fantastic, reptiles, birds, flowers, masks, geometrical figures, wheels, foliage, maze-like patterns, frets—employed with all the boldness and fanciful ideas characteristic of pre-Columbian art.
Rendered in sharp black-and-white, the designs may be reproduced, enlarged, reduced, or altered at will. Wherever a novel, strong, rhythmic effect is desired—in advertising, book design, packages, wrappings, labels, bookplates, textiles, wallpapers, leather craft, woodwork, jewelry, metalcraft—these motifs will serve beautifully.
The designs were selected by Jorge Enciso, an outstanding figure in the cultural life of Mexico, from malacates
in the archeological museums of Mexico City, Teotihuacán, and Tuxtla Gutiérrez, and the collections of Diego Rivera, William Spratling, Roberto Montenegro, and others.