mayan stuff is cool


The prime duty of the ancient Mayan kings was to assume the mantle of the gods, especially the Maize God, and through ecstatic dancing to spark a yearly rebirth of fertility. For the Maya, a good harvest was crucial, and the paraphernalia connected with these rituals — stelae, vessels, ornaments, murals and more, now on display in “Treasures of the Maya Kings” at the Metropolitan Museum — were of the highest significance.

Focusing on the many symbols of cosmic power and supernatural might, “Treasures of the Maya Kings” includes items that are spare and elegant, like small jadeite masks, and others that are more robust, like a limestone divination figure (150-350 AD) in which a king is in the midst of transforming himself into a jaguar, his animal spirit companion. What the pieces all share is a pulsing energy.

more from Artnet Magazine here (just saw this exhibit, worth seeing).