Such symbolic axes circulated as money in Central and South America before the arrival of the Spaniards. This piece was in use among the Aztec people and supposedly served to pay tributes and in a religious context. It is made from copper-arsenic bronze. The arsenic strengthens the copper and changes its color to a shade of pink. Axe money is said to have been come to West Mexico from Ecuador around 800 AD. After the arrival of the Spaniards it was slowly replaced by the Spanish peso.