Royalty

Ruler on throneRuler on throneAncient Maya (Jaina, Mexico)
Clay, paint, 16.8 cm
Mayavase K2844
© Justin Kerr
Elite ladyElite ladyAncient Maya (Jaina, Mexico)
Clay, paint, 19.0 cm
Mayavase K3100a
© Justin Kerr
Figure of a priestFigure of a priestAncient Maya (Jaina, Mexico), A.D. 400-800
Clay, paint
Courtesy, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution 238368.000
Ruler on throneElite ladyFigure of a priest
Maya noble from JainaMaya noble from JainaAncient Maya (Jaina, Mexico)
Clay, paint, 22.0 cm
Mayavase K1503
© Justin Kerr
Figure with headdressFigure with headdressAncient Maya (Jaina, Mexico)
Clay, 20.3 cm
Mayavase K8567
© Justin Kerr
 
Maya noble from JainaFigure with headdress 

The elite were the most powerful class of citizens in Maya society. Both men and women held positions as rulers. K’ujul ajaw was the title of elite males, and ix ajaw was the title for elite women. The third figure, seated with arms crossed, is a priest. Priests were holders of spiritual knowledge and part of the elite class.

The figures portray elegance and sophistication reminiscent of the elite in their attire, pose, and gaze as they keep a watchful eye over their kingdom. Accessories on the figures may be jade hanging from his or her xikin (ear). The individual carrying the feather headdress may be a royal servant in his moment of duty. It is not known if these figures represent specific rulers.

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