Cf. Jaina Figurines, figs. 24 and 25, for two other extant examples; Courtly Art of the Maya, pl. 21, for the most well-known depiction of the Maize God from the British Museum, with similar serene expression.
The Maize God (Num Kaak) is at the heart of Maya cosmology, the youthful figure represents the ripe grain which was the base of their agriculture and economy. The god's adventures in the Underworld as recounted in a summary fashion in the Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Maya, and significantly his death and resurrection would influence Maya kingship. The Maya aesthetic bodily ideal is captured here in the muscular and taut lines of the torso which are equated with the stout stalk. The high-browed forehead and thick swept-back hair might be symbolic for continued fertility and abundance. For the ancient Maya the Maize God would come to represent everything that was perfect and admirable.