The Zocateq( Zo´ca tek )

polyzocateq paleophylophlaxis

Currently in my work I am creating mythical bone creatures with historical references both real and imagined. The figurative skeletal pieces are historically representative of the native northern Inuit and Aleut culture.

The Zocateq is a skillfully articulated ancient skeletal animal species created from the bones of different animals. Research indicates that the use of different animals gave the Zocateq the attributes of those animals. Zocateqs were created to be strong and powerful guardians. On the darker side, the Tupilaq was created with the intent to destroy an enemy.

Some pieces have been left natural and some been decorated with 22 kt yellow gold and 12 kt white gold. Traditionally Zocateqs have been strategically placed in a room to protect the environment from evil spirits.

Because of the perishable nature of a Zocateq, surviving specimens are very rare. The decorative ceremonial and ritual pieces are even more unique. Science is fertile territory for the imagination.

Jim Hornung Archeo-artist A collision of art and science