The Mythical Tales of Obsidian

The Mythical Tales of Obsidian


Storming of the Teocalli by Cortez and his troops.

When the Spaniards set foot for the first time in the Mayan lands, they were fascinated by this ancient civilization, which seemed so superior in their crafts and sciences such as astrology and physics despite having been unknown to outside world and existing in seclusion. Central to Mayan technology was the profound use of a special stone, known as Obsidian. 

Nat Pal diplomats

Mexica and Totonac leaders meet to talk politics and trade.

Obsidian is an igneous rock formed by the rapid cooling and hardening of the volcanic lava. The volcanic glass stone was used in trading by Mayan merchants, dating as far back as 100 years BC. Given the abundance of obsidian found in the area and its high value, it was considered most precious, whereas interestingly, precious metals known to us, such as gold, never played a key role in the Mayan society. 

Ceremonial knife. Date: ca. 1200–1500 Century: 13th Century AD Media: Obsidian, Turquoise, Spondylus Shell, Resin Object Type: Ritual Object Country: Mexico Culture/People: Mixtec

Ceremonial Aztec knife made of flaked obsidian.

The Obsidian can produce rock fragments with very sharp edges. In fact, it is so sharp that it is still used in surgical tools today.  In ancient Mexican culture this stone was called Itzli, literally the god of stone, as it was used to make weapons for war as well as cutting tools for everyday use. 

 In Aztec mythology, Itzpapalotl (“Clawed Butterfly” or “Obsidian Butterfly”) was a fearsome skeletal warrior goddess, who ruled over the paradise world of Tamoanchan, the paradise of victims of infant mortality and place identified where humans were created.Itzpapalotl Obsidian Butterfly Goddess Of The Stars

The precious stone further played a central role in jewelry and ritual items. Still today, it is widely believed that the Obsidian is a protective stone that shields against negative energy. Given its sharpness, the stone is considered to pierce into darkness to reveal the truth itself.

The Mayan prophets used polished Obsidian as “mirrors” for scrying purposes; their way of prophesizing the future. 

Raw Obsidian Stone

For MYKU, we chose the most charismatic pieces that deserved to be showcased in our timepieces. Requiring the sharpest precision of the most skilled craftsmen to reveal the stone’s striking sheen, the final product is an elegant and enigmatic timepiece, making it the perfect holiday gift for the special one.

MYKU Obsidian Watch Limited Edition Watch