A foreboding supernatural bird perched on one chamber of this double vessel faces a kneeling young man on the other, while a third creature climbs up its side. The submissive position of the young man suggests he is luring the creature into a trap to overthrow the bird. Despite his impending defeat, this majestic deity was revered as an avian manifestation of Itzamnaaj. A whistle inside the head of the bird sounds when water is poured in the vessel’s opposite chamber.
Vasija silbato Guatemala o México Siglo V Cerámica
En los recipientes de esta doble vasija se enfrentan un pájaro sobrenatural, de aspecto temible, y un joven arrodillado. La postura sumisa del muchacho sugiere que está disimulando su intención de atraerlo y derribarlo. Pese a ser derrotada, el ave es una majestuosa deidad considerada como una manifestación de Itzamnaaj. El silbato ubicado en su cabeza suena cuando el receptáculo contrario se llena de agua.
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Geography:Guatemala or Mexico, Mesoamerica
Dimensions:H. 11 7/8 x W. 7 3/4 x D. 5 1/4 in. (30.2 x 19.7 x 13.3 cm)
Credit Line:The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1963
Accession Number:1978.412.90a, b
[Aaron Furman Gallery, New York, until 1962]; Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York, 1962, on loan to The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1962–63; The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1963–78
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Museum of Primitive Art. "Tikal: 1956–1966 Excavations in Maya Guatemala," February 16, 1966–April 17, 1966.
Museum of Primitive Art. "The World of Primitive Art," July 12, 1966–September 11, 1966.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art of Oceania, Africa and the Americas from The Museum of Primitive Art," May 10–August 17, 1969.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Treasures of Sacred Maya Kings," September 11, 2005–January 8, 2006.
Dallas Museum of Art. "Treasures of Sacred Maya Kings," February 12–May 7, 2006.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Treasures of Sacred Maya Kings," June 11–September 10, 2006.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Lives of the Gods: Divinity in Maya Art," November 14, 2022–April 2, 2023.
Kimbell Art Museum. "Lives of the Gods: Divinity in Maya Art," May 7–September 3, 2023.
Museum of Primitive Art. Masterpieces in the Museum of Primitive Art: Africa, Oceania, North America, Mexico, Central to South America, Peru. Handbook series. New York, NY: Museum of Primitive Art, 1965, no. 96.
Bardawil, Lawrence. "The Principal Bird Deity in Maya Art- an Iconographic Study of Form and Meaning." In The Art, Iconography, and Dynastic History of Palenque, Part III (Proceedings of the Segunda Mesa Redonda de Palenque, edited by Merle Greene. Pebble Beach: Pre-Columbian Art Research, The Robert Louis Stevenson School, 1976, pp. 195–209.
Newton, Douglas. Masterpieces of Primitive Art: The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978, p. 189.
Parsons, Lee Allen. "Altars 9 and 10, Kaminaljuyu, and the Evolution of the Serpent-Winged Deity." In Civilization in the Ancient Americas, Essays in Honor of Gordon R. Willey, edited by Richard M. Leventhal. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1983, pp. 145–56.
Cortez, Constance. "The Principal Bird Deity in Preclassic and Early Classic Maya Art." Master's thesis, University of Texas at Austin, 1986.
Schele, Linda, and Mary Ellen Miller. The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Maya Art. New York and Fort Worth: George Braziller, 1986, See especially p. 122, Pl. 35.
Hellmuth, Nicholas M. Monster Und Menschen in Der Maya-Kunst : Eine Ikonographie Der Alten Religionen Mexikos Und Guatemalas. Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1987.
Newton, Douglas, Julie Jones, and Kate Ezra. The Pacific Islands, Africa, and the Americas: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987.
Taube, Karl A. A Representation of the Principal Bird Deity in the Paris Codex. Research Reports on Ancient Maya Writing, no. 6. Washington, DC: Center for Maya Research, 1987.
Kerr, Justin. "The hero twins: myth and image." In The Maya Vase Book: A Corpus of Rollout Photographs of Maya Vases, edited by Justin Kerr. Vol. 1. New York: Kerr Associates, 1989, pp. 161–184, p. 171.
Coe, Michael D. The Maya. 6th ed. New York: Thames & Hudson Inc., 1999.
Fields, Virginia M., and Dorie Reents-Budet. Lords of Creation: The Origins of Sacred Maya Kingship. London and Los Angeles: Scala Publishers Limited, 2005, no. 51, See especially pp. 44–45, 114 (Cat. 20), 116–117, 148–150 (Cat. 50–51), 169 (Cat. 66).
Christenson Allen J. Popul Vuh: The Sacred Book of the Ancient Maya. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2007.
Bassie-Sweet, Karen. Maya Sacred Geography and the Creator Deities. Civilization of the American Indian Series. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008, See especially pp. 140–49.
Taube, Karl A., William A. Saturno, and Heather Hurst. The Murals of San Bartolo, El Petén, Guatemala; Part 2: The West Wall. Ancient America, Vol. no. 10. Barnardsville, NC: Boundary End Archaeological Research Center, 2010.
Chinchilla Mazariegos, Oswaldo. Imágenes de la mitología Maya. Guatelmala City: Museo Popol Vuh, Guatemala City, Guatemala, 2011, See especially pp. 109–123 (written by Michael D. Coe).
Martin, Simon. "The Old Man of the Maya Universe: A Unitary Dimension to Ancient Maya Religion." In Maya Archaeology 3, edited by Charles W. Golden, Stephen D. Houston, and Joel Skidmore. San Francisco: Precolumbia Mesoweb Press, 2015, pp. 186–227.
Chinchilla Mazariegos, Oswaldo, James Doyle, and Joanne Pillsbury, eds. Lives of the Gods: Divinity in Maya Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2022, p.59, figs. 37A, 37B.
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