By Matthew G. Looper
The historic Maya urban of Quirigua occupied a crossroads among Copan within the southeastern Maya highlands and the most important facilities of the Peten heartland. even though continuously a comparatively small urban, Quirigua stands proud as a result of its public monuments, that have been many of the maximum achievements of vintage Maya civilization. remarkable not just for his or her titanic dimension, excessive sculptural caliber, and eloquent hieroglyphic texts, the sculptures of Quirigua also are one of many few entire, in situ sequence of Maya monuments at any place, which makes them a vital resource of data approximately historical Maya spirituality and political perform inside a selected old context.
Using epigraphic, iconographic, and stylistic analyses, this learn explores the built-in political-religious meanings of Quirigua's enormous sculptures through the eighth-century A.D. reign of the city's most renowned ruler, K'ak' Tiliw. particularly, Matthew Looper specializes in the function of stelae and different sculpture in representing the personality of the ruler not just as a political authority but in addition as a manifestation of assorted supernatural entities with whom he was once linked via ritual functionality. through tracing this sculptural software from its Early vintage beginnings in the course of the reigns of K'ak' Tiliw and his successors, and in addition by means of linking it to practices at Copan, Looper deals very important new insights into the politico-religious background of Quirigua and its ties to different vintage Maya facilities, the function of kingship in Maya society, and the improvement of Maya art.
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Extra resources for Lightning Warrior: Maya Art and Kingship at Quirigua
26 Rituals designed to release the power of the otherworld required a sophisticated means for channeling these tremendous forces. Such was the function of artifacts that we designate as “art,” such as bloodletters, bowls for sacrifice, altars, ceramic burners, and stelae. Many of these objects served as implements or tools, including the stingray spines and obsidian lancets that were used to puncture the flesh. Ritual objects also contained and stored these energies, much like a battery. The dedication sequence of a stela, in which cloth or rope bindings fixed the energy of sacrifices in the monument, illustrates this well.
Laude 1973). In addition to the problem of historical confusion intrinsic to the pastiche, however, the very existence of elaborate collective myths is suspect. As noted previously in the discussion of the symbolism of stelae, it is highly unlikely that a cultural zone as large and diverse as that of the Classic Maya would be characterized by such uniformity in narrative traditions. In fact (as we shall see in subsequent chapters), not only were the monuments of Quirigua distinctive, but the stories of cosmic ordering inscribed on them preserve many unique motifs that are specifically tied to local historical circumstances.
Monumentality, for the ancient Maya, thus provided the elite “owners” of the monuments the potential for retaining their identity and perpetuating it into the future. ” Art and Personae The importance of art in stabilizing identities prompts a consideration of the specific ways in which ancient Maya monumental portraiture embodies the social person. Indeed, one of the remarkable aspects of Classic Maya art and one that distinguishes it from other areas of the Americas is its “personalized” quality.