People of the Jaguar


Vessel with four dancing Noblemen

Vessels like this one were used for a precious chocolate drink made from cocoa, the preferred beverage of the ruling classes. This cup is painted with a row of hieroglyphs figures around the rim and four dancing figures. Maya rulers and their court danced on ceremonial plazas to reinforce the idea that they brought spiritual energy into the world for the benefit of their people. These dance pageants reenacted myths as well as themes from everyday life.


Painted terracotta
Campeche, Mexico
Possibly Late Classic period, A.D. 600-900
CMC K95-444