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The long, curving objects commonly known as "palmas" have a great variety of shapes and ornamentation, although they are all probably ritual depictions of ball-playing attire, originally made in wood. This is a particularly forceful and imaginative piece, although its meaning remains unknown.

"Palma" in the shape of human forearms and hands
Central Veracruz
Middle to Late Classic (500-900 A.D.)
38 x 15 cm.
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico.

Photo © Jorge Pérez de Lara