Post Lot Text
MAYAN POLYCHROME VESSEL
LATE CLASSIC, CA. A.D. 550-950
Vividly painted with four elaborately-attired figures, possibly the same figure as based on the costume and physiognomy, three with similar hand position -the right arm outstretched and palm outward, reminiscent of the unique gesture of the Maize God, suggesting these are impersonators of the Maize God or the youthful deity, characterized by the tonsured coiffure and elongated head, consisting of a dancing figure as indicated by the frontal position and head in profile with hands to the loincloth, another figure keeling on his knees with a massive plumed backrack, followed by a standing figure and another standing figure with a headdress incorporating the long-nosed deity and the mask of the Sun God within the heavy backrack, in brown, black , white and deep orange against the pale orange ground, the rim encircled with glyphs which might indicate a chant.
The sequence of figures including one clearly dancing figure, the ornate backracks and the specific hand signals are reminiscent of 'Holmul dancer' iconography (see Painting the Maya Universe, fig.52) identified as the dancing Maize God.
Like the Sun God, the Maize God is associated with life and death. He follows the path across the sky, descends into the Underworld, is reborn, and returns to the Sky World. The flattened and elongated forehead of this deity is often accentuated by a partly shaven head and eyebrows, leaving patches of hair on the top of his head, which resembles a ripened ear of corn.