El Chocolate

Chocolate was a very important element in Meso-American traditions.  It was believed that chocolate had been gifted to man by the gods and that it had restorative and medicinal powers, able to give warriors strength when going into battle.  So revered was the Cacao tree that chocolate seeds were even used as currency.  The images on this skull are inspired by an Aztec codex depicting the gods sharing the cacao seeds with man.  The banner at the bottom of the image is flanked by two molinillos, tools that are traditionally used to mix chocolate drinks and create a froth, which is believed to be where the 'life' of the drink resides.  This tool, which is now so uniquely Mexican, was introduced by the French.  Before it, chocolate was poured from cup to cup, to create the desired froth.