Jade, a rare material whose color and durability were highly prized by the Maya, was painstakingly carved into delicate ornaments to adorn the bodies of royalty and members of the nobility. The objects’ imagery reflected the identity and status of the wearer, often linking that person with divine power. These ornaments feature the heads of mythical birds.
Dije en forma de cara de deidad Sur de México, Guatemala, Honduras o Belice Siglo VII al IX Jadeíta u onfacita, pigmento
El jade era un material escaso y altamente apreciado por los mayas debido a su color y durabilidad. Se tallaba minuciosamente para confeccionar delicados ornamentos que adornaban los cuerpos de los reyes y miembros de la nobleza. Las imágenes labradas en estos objetos reflejaban la identidad y el estatus del portador y, con frecuencia, lo vinculaban con el poder divino. Estas piezas muestran las cabezas de dos pájaros mitológicos.
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Title:Deity face pendant
Geography:Southern Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, or Belize
Medium:Jadeite or omphacite, iron ochre
Dimensions:H. 2 1/4 × W. 2 1/8 × D. 3/8 in. (5.7 × 5.4 × 1 cm)
Credit Line:Purchase, Jan and Marica Vilcek Gift, 2007
[Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, acquired by 1960s]; Robert Miller, New York, 1970s–2005; (Christie's, Paris, December 6, 2005, no. 428); [Throckmorton Fine Art, New York, 2005–2007]
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.
Schele, Linda. "Observations on the Cross Motif at Palenque." In Primera Mesa Redonda de Palenque: A Conference on the Art, Iconography, and Dynastic History of Palenque, edited by Merle Greene Robertson. Pebble Beach: Pre-Columbian Art Research Institute, 1974, pp. 41–62.
Schele, Linda. "Genealogical Documentation on the Tri-Figure Panels at Palenque." In Proceedings of the Tercera Mesa Redonda De Palenque. Third Palenque Round Table, edited by Merle Greene Robertson, and Donnan Call Jeffers. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1978, pp. 41–70.
Schele, Linda, and Mary Ellen Miller. The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Maya Art. New York and Fort Worth: George Braziller, 1986.
Freidel, David A., and Linda Schele. "Kingship in the Late Preclassic Maya Lowlands: The Instruments and Places of Ritual Power." American Anthropologist vol. 90, no. 3 (1988), pp. 447–567.
Freidel, David A. "The Jester God. The Beginning and End of a Maya Royal Symbol." In Vision and Revision in Maya Studies, edited by Flora Simmons Clancy, and Peter D. Harrison. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1990, pp. 67–78.
Schele, Linda, and David A. Freidel. A Forest of Kings: The untold story of the ancient Maya. New York: Morrow, 1990.
Fields, Virginia M. "The Iconographic Heritage of the Maya Jester God." In Sixth Palenque Round Table, 1986, edited by Merle Greene Robertson. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991.
Freidel, David A., and Linda Schele. Maya Cosmos: Three Thousand Years on the Shaman's Path. New York: William Morrow, 1993.
Stuart, David. "Kings of Stone: A Consideration of Stelae in Ancient Maya Ritual and Representation." Res (1996), pp. 148–71.
Taube, Karl A. "The Jade Hearth: Centrality, Rulership, and the Classic Maya Temple." In Function and Meaning in Classic Maya Architecture, edited by Stephen D. Houston. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1998, pp. 427–79.
Miller, Mary Ellen, and Simon Martin. Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya. New York and San Francisco: Thames & Hudson Inc., 2004, See especially cat. nos. 22, 23, 25.
Stuart, David. "La concha decorada de la tumba del Templo Del Búho, Dzibanché." In Los cautivos de Dzibanché, edited by Enrique Nalda. Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico City, 2004, pp. 132–40.
Christie's, Paris. Art Africain, Oceanien, et Precolombien. December 6, 2005, p. 164, no. 428.
Saturno, William A., Karl A. Taube, David Stuart, and Heather Hurst. The Murals of San Bartolo, El Petén, Guatemala. Part 1, the North Wall. Ancient America, No. 7. Barnardsville, NC: Center for Ancient American Studies, 2005.
Taube, Karl A. "The Symbolism of Jade in Classic Maya Religion." Ancient Mesoamerica vol. 16, no. 1 (2005), pp. 23–50.
Grube, Nikolai. "The Insignia of Power." In Maya: Divine Kings of the Rain Forest, edited by Nikolai Grube. Cologne: Könemann, 2006, pp. 96–97.
Boundary End Archaeological Research Center. Sacred Bundles: Ritual Acts of Wrapping and Binding in Mesoamerica, edited by Julia Guernsey, and F. Kent Reilly III. Barnardsville, NC, 2006.
Stuart, David. "The Name of Paper: The Mythology of Crowning and Royal Nomenclature on Palenque’s Palace Tablet." In Maya Archaeology 2, edited by Charles Golden, Stephen D. Houston, and Joel Skidmore. San Francisco: Precolumbia Mesoweb Press, 2006, pp. 118–48.
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, pp. 65–69.
Guernsey, Julia. "Signifying Late Preclassic Rulership: Patterns of Continuity from the Southern Maya Zone." In The Southern Maya in the Late Preclassic: The Rise and Fall of an Early Mesoamerican Civilization, edited by Michael Love, and Jonathan H. Kaplan. Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2011.
Pillsbury, Joanne, Miriam Doutriaux, Reiko Ishihara-Brito, and Alexandre Tokovinine, eds. Ancient Maya Art at Dumbarton Oaks. Pre-Columbian Art at Dumbarton Oaks, no. 4. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 2012.
Stuart, David. "The Royal Headband: A Pan-Mesoamerican Hieroglyph." In Maya Decipherment: Ideas on Ancient Maya Writing and Iconography. Jan. 26, 2015, https://decipherment.wordpress.com/?s=the+royal+headband.
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.
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