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tzompantli tulum aldea zama row of trash school
Depiction of a tzompantli ("skull rack"), right half of image; associated with the depiction of Aztec temple dedicated to the deity Huitzilopochtli. From the 1587 Aztec manuscript, the Codex Tovar.

“Tzompantli” is defined after the Nahuatl description which can be translated to "Row of skulls".

The practice of displaying chopped heads stacked on ceremonial structures proliferated in the Aztec region. However some governments abused sacrificial racks by turning them into intimidating displays of power to nearby tribes.

The installation of the Tzompantli is made up of 150 handmade paper skulls constructed from trash collected by hand from Tulum’s beach, town, and jungle. 

The artist collected garbage every day for two months until the work was completed. The comfort of our modern lives makes us ignore the fact that we are producing more waste than we can handle, but not everything is lost, we are still on time to change the path of destruction.



Garbage in Tulum

None of the visitors of this installation will live to see these materials erode naturally.

Tulum is an ultra-fragile ecosystem. We need to raise awareness among all those who live here and the visitors about the impact on our consumption and waste disposal habits. 

This tzompantli was created to raise awareness, it is a caution signal about the use of plastics and single-use objects in our everyday lives.

If we do not act now, our civilization’s fate is to end up in a massive tzompantli».



PET -HDPE – PEAD – PVC – LDPE – PEBD – PP – PS – Copper, Glass, Metal, Aluminum, Lithium, Gold, Silver, Wood, Paper.

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