Stepped Fretwork, Xicalcoliuhqui
The Xicalcoliuhqui pattern recurs throughout Mesoamerican design, appearing in architecture, art, clothing, and even makeup. What the pattern represents is disputed, and it could be anything from a snake to seashells to lightning. It is found in every major Mesoamerican culture. The following examples come from stamps found in central and southern Mexico. They were used to decorate pottery and paper, and as a temporary tattoo.