Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>730 Late Classic Maya sahal
>>>>primary sources
Subjectsahal noble war chief
Culture: Maya
Setting: Late Classical Period, Mesoamerica ca.600-900

* Museo de América > La Religión
"FIGURA SEDENTE DE UN GRAN SEÑOR: lleva el rostro decorado con escarificaciones, de grandes orejeras, collar y un tocado de plumas.  Cerámica.  Cultura Maya.  Período Clásico Tardío (600-900 d.C.).  México."

* Museo de América > La Religión
"FIGURA QUE REPRESENTA A UN GRAN SEÑOR ATAVIADO DE GUERRERO.  En la mano derecha portarIa un arma y en la izquierda el escudo.  Cerámica.  Cultura Maya.  Período Clásico Tardío.  (600-900 d.C.).  Jaina, México."

* Museo de América > La Religión
Cultura Maya.  
Período Clásico Tardío (600-900 d.C.).  
Palenque, México."

* Kimbell Art Museum
"Guatemala, Maya culture, Late Classic period, A.D. 600-900
Standing Ruler
c. A.D. 600-800
Ceramic with traces of paint ...
The surviving works of Maya civilization range from the smallest objects to grand edifices.  Among the small-scale artworks of the Maya are many exquisite ceramic figurines only a few inches high.  Despite their diminutive scale, these are also among the most fully realized of Maya sculptures in the round.  This figurine vividly evokes a Maya lord costumed to impersonate a dynastic ancestor.  The rectangular device over the mouth, along with the shield in one hand and the now-missing spear in the other, closely resemble the accoutrements of the nine ancestral figures in the sarcophagus chamber of Palenque's Temmple of the Inscriptions.  The figure's wide belt once supported a backrack of feathers, and his knee-length apron is marked with a symbol of the World Tree, the central axis of the Maya world.  Elements of the complex costume below the headdress recur in other portrayals of Maya rulers; they define and reiterate his rank, and his position in the cosmos.
    "The role of these figurines in Maya belief and ritual is not clear, but their common appearance in Maya burials suggests a ritual function of some importance. Here the royal associations of the subject may indicate a rite performed by the king and commemorated through the making of this figurine."

* Kimbell Art Museum
"Mexico, Usumacinta River Valley, Maya culture, Late Classic period, A.D. 600-900  
Presentation of Captives to a Maya Ruler  c. A.D. 785  Limestone with traces of paint ...
This carved relief probably served as a wall panel inside a Maya building or as a lintel over an entrance.  It depicts the presentation of captives in a palace throne room,indicated by swag curtains at the top of the panel.  The five figures are the Yaxchilan king, seated at top left, his sahal (a military chief) on the right, and three bound captives in the lower left.  The glyphic text, which gives a date of 23 August 783, records the capture of a lord and a sacrificial bloodletting three days later under the auspices of the king.  The three prisoners may be scribes; the one in front holds a 'stick-bundle' associated with Maya scribes, and all three wear headdresses with hun (book) knots.  All figures but the leftmost captive are identified by name.  The inscription on the throne front, of special interest, is carved with the king's name and titles; the glyphs are inscribed in reverse order, from right to left.
    "The name of the artist responsible for sculpting the relief appears on the vertical panel of four glyphs under the sahal's outstretched arm.  Signed works of Maya art are rare, and the signature on this relief suggests that it was considered of great vaue in its time."

​Metropolitan Museum of Art *
"Maya Figure  Free-standing stone figures are unusual in the Maya area,
 where sculptural expression customarily took the form of either low-relief carving or architectural ornament.
  Only after the tenth century, when the influence of peoples from central Mexico increased,
 would a sculpture such as this have been made in the Maya region.
  The towering figure wears an animal helmet, facial armor, a loincloth with double tie in front, and high, laced leggings.
  The chest is adorned with a large, emblematic knot.  The right hand holds a long object, perhaps a club,
 a throwing stick (atlatl), or an ax.  The sculpture is reported to have been found in Campeche, near the Candelaria River.
    "Monumental Figure  Mexico; Maya  9th-10th century  Limestone"

* Museum of Fine Arts > Art of the Americas > Mesoamerica
"Figure of a warrior  Mexico (Campeche), Jaina Island, AD 600-750  Earthenware with blue pigment
From his jadeite earflares and necklace to his elaborate headdress, this warrior's costume conveys his elite status.  
His facial hair and body paint or tattoos also connote power and prestige.  
The distinctive pigment known as Maya Blue adorns his headdress and shield.  
This blue paint is amazingly stable and durable; after more than a thousand years, it remains undimmed." ...