Man holding a sort of purse in his hands is crushed in the coils
of a huge snake, which seems to be watching over a sarcophagus.
The mysterious nature of the subject and the free style in which
it has been carved out of a single undressed block of stone
give this Olmec carving from La venta an extraordinary expressive
power. For the artist has used the stones natural shape
to add force to his curling design. The snake, which often represented
the plumed serpent god, had considerable religious significance
in the later pre-Columbian world. It was the symbol of the sun
and a potent motif in Mexican mythology.
The Worlds Last Mysteries Readers Digest