The Olmec wore cotton and animal skin, like Buffalo. The Olmec relied on natural resources for almost everything. For example clothing. They used cotton and rubber trees to make clothes.
What artifacts did the Olmecs leave behind?
Mesoamerica extends roughly from central Mexico to Honduras and Nicaragua (regional map). Ancient rubber makers harvested latex from rubber trees and mixed it with juice from morning glory vines, which contains a chemical that makes the solidified latex less brittle. (Take a quiz about the ancient Maya.)
Their merchants traded for many things, including raw stone material such as basalt, obsidian, serpentine and jadeite, commodities such as salt, and animal products such as pelts, bright feathers, and seashells.
The Olmec art style is found on objects as far afield as the Valley of Mexico to the north and the Pacific coast of Chiapas to the south.
While historians have speculated that the facial features of some monumental carved heads indicate an African origin of these people, most scholars believe that the Olmec, like other native Americans, descended from Asian ancestors who entered North America during the Great Ice Age.
The Nahuatl (Aztec) name for these people, Olmecatl, or Olmec in the modern corruption, means “rubber people” or “people of the rubber country.” That term was chosen because the Olmecs extracted latex from Panama rubber trees (Castilla elastica) growing in the region and mixed it with the juice of a local vine (Ipomoea
The Mesoamericans were robust users of rubber, according to historical and archaeological records. With it they made sandals, rubber bands and also balls, which they used to play a ceremonial game in stone-walled courts. Each of these items need different qualities in the rubber of which they are made.
The Olmec created massive monuments, including colossal stone heads, thrones, stela (upright slabs), and statues. They may have been the originators of the Mesoamerican ball game, a ceremonial team sport played throughout the region for centuries.
San Lorenzo reached its peak of prosperity and influence between 1200 and 900 BCE when its strategic position safe from flooding allowed it to control local trade. Typical Olmec trade goods included obsidian, jade, serpentine, mica, rubber, pottery, feathers and polished mirrors of ilmenite and magnetite.
Olmec Food, Crops, and Diet They planted many of the same crops seen in the region today, such as squash, beans, manioc, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. Maize was a staple of the Olmec diet, although it is possible that it was introduced late in the development of their culture.
The men wore breech-cloth, back apron and a belt. The women wore knee length skirts. The priests wore their slaves skin when sacrificed.
We, and most other scholars who have studied Olmec art, would further agree that the particular “god” associated with rain is a were-jaguar, that is, a mask dominated by the characteristically feline mouth with downturned corners beneath a pug nose.
The object is carved from serpentine, a dark green stone, commonly used in Olmec artwork. Due to its small size ( 13cm x 11.3cm x 5.7cm ), the object was most likely worn as a pendant rather than a mask. The face is probably a depiction of an Olmec king.
Some historians assert that the Mayans were the descendants of the Olmecs.
The End of the Olmec Civilization Around 400 B.C. La Venta went into decline and was eventually abandoned altogether. With the fall of La Venta came the end of classic Olmec culture. Although the descendants of the Olmecs still lived in the region, the culture itself vanished.
Linguistic evidence has contributed to the ethnic identity of the archaeological Olmecs: they spoke a Mixe-Zoquean language. The Olmecs produced the earliest complex civilization in Mesoamerica (c. 1200–400 bce), and it was located mainly in the same area where Mixe-Zoquean languages are found.