Yoke – Ballgame Hip Protector(6th Century)

Vintage sports gear for protecting hips during an ancient unnamed ball game. For when players would use their thrusting hips to propel a rubber ball. Hopefully they guarded other lower body extremities. It is called ‘Yoke’ by the source. Origin is Mexico. Vintage sports gear are hardcore!

“U-shaped ballgame sculptures imitate the shape of belt-like protectors, perhaps made of wood and padding, worn to shield ballplayers from injury when they returned the solid rubber ball from their hips. This fine example embodies a major theme of the ballgame: the connection between fertility and death. It is made of greenstone, a precious material that through its color symbolizes the lush burgeoning of nature after the rainy season. The imagery, however, is menacing: a monstrous head snarls from the curve, and human skulls appear on the sides.” – Description

The image and information is from the Cleveland Museum of Art, under Public Domain Dedication.