Realistic depictions of avians are a distinct class of the ballgame accoutrements typically seen from the north-central region of the Gulf Coast (Wilkerson in Evans, ed., Ancient Mexican Art at Dumbarton Oaks
, 2010, p. 275). Carved with a notched base similar to the hacha form, this sculpture has the distinct ‘backboard’ element curving under the legs, and depicts a long-beaked bird with deeply recessed circular eyes probably inlaid, with a headcrest of feathers arching backward. The tapering beak is nestled onto the full, rounded belly and the sculpted wings show various lengths of primary and secondary feathers. The long articulated legs have the talons curled over. It is suggested these palmas with the backboard element may represent trophy birds attached to the wooden mallets used in the ballgame rituals.
This sculpture is most similar to the avian in the Dumbarton Oaks collection, Washington D.C. (ibid., pl. 88) and another at the Museo de Antropologia, Xalapa, Veracruz (ibid., pp. 275-276, pl. 88 & fig. 92).