Elderly

Jaina old womanJaina old womanAncient Maya (Jaina, Mexico), n.d.
Clay, paint
Mayavase K5778
© Justin Kerr
Jaina old manJaina old manAncient Maya (Jaina, Mexico), n.d.
Clay, paint
Mayavase K5773
© Justin Kerr
Copán old godCopán old godAncient Maya (Copán, Honduras), n.d.
Mayavase K5592
© Justin Kerr
Jaina old womanJaina old manCopán old god

Artists also created figures that depicted age differences. For example, the signs of old age are shown by sagging flesh, reflecting the realism in Mayan art. Some of these figures emphasize the chi (mouth) with missing teeth, another possible indicator of old age. The k’ono’ch (chin) of the man in the blue hat is an important feature that points to signs of his age. The ich (eye) sockets are of a distinct appearance compared to other figures in this exhibit—they demonstrate the natural wear of age. The winklil is also represented on structures. The face of Pauahtun at Copán on Structure 10L-11 is a prime example. Here, artists created similar effects on a larger scale, offering further artistic details that portray old age.

* About Copán: Copán was an ancient Maya city in Honduras during the Classic Period (250 AD to 900 AD.) Today, it is one of the best-preserved ancient Mayan sites. 

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