Women

Jaina ladyJaina ladyAncient Maya (Jaina, Mexico), n.d.
Clay, 10.5 cm
Mayavase K3112
© Justin Kerr
Jaina womanJaina womanAncient Maya (Jaina, Mexico), n.d.
Clay, paint
Mayavase K5779
© Justin Kerr
Female weaverFemale weaverAncient Maya (Jaina, Mexico), A.D. 400–800
Clay
Courtesy, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution 232865.000
Jaina ladyJaina womanFemale weaver

Women in Maya society also attained status as rulers. However, only a few achieved the position of ruler. Female ruler Yohl’ lk’nal once ruled the city-state of Palenque. There are also female goddesses—such as Ixchel, female goddess of the moon, earth, procreation, and pregnant women—who were worshipped.

These women figurines are dressed in finery. They are seated in graceful poses, one with her tzo’tz (hair) created in a stylish fashion (see middle image). The artists created sitting positions with accurate anatomical features, including posture and arm poses.

The figure on the far right displays a woman peering down at the loom, and she is actively occupied in creating. Maya women wore articles of clothing called huipil, woven from cotton. The huipil is still worn by modern Maya women today.

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