Carved panel with the king of Yaxchilan,
Yaxchilan, Chiapas, Mexico, 783, limestone, traces of pigment
Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
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Carved panel with the king of
a noble, and captives
Maya art often depicts kings engaged in political duties--greeting envoys, accepting tribute and waging war. On this panel, the curtains of a throne room have been rolled up to reveal a king seated on his throne engaged in the serious business of receiving captives.
This is the king of Yaxchilan, whose name
is Itzamnaaj B'ahlam.... The standing figure who is gesturing toward
the king is one of his...war captains...who presumably has taken...these
The captives' arms are bound, and rags have been pulled through their earlobes, replacing fine jewelry. They are being offered as tribute to the Yaxchilan king by his captain, identified as "He of Red Monkey."
Captives...were really...very basic ...authority....
One of the earliest images we have of a Maya king is of the ruler
standing on top of this captive.... These were elemental symbols
This panel probably came from one of Yaxchilan's satellite communities, where He of Red Monkey ruled as the local lord. That would explain why he is shown on the right, the usual position of power.