The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, June 24, 2018

One of the Most Emblematic Pieces, the Millenary Maya Stela will Be Complete Again
Detail of the stela that depicts the Divine Lords of Tonina Creating the Universe. Photo: DMC/INAH/M. TAPIA.

MEXICO CITY.- With more than 2,000 years of age, the stela that depicts the “Divine Lords of Tonina Creating the Universe”, one of the most emblematic pieces at Maya Hall of the National Museum of Anthropology (MNA) will appear complete once the missing part that corresponds to a hand is reintegrated.

When entering the Maya Hall, one of the pieces that welcome visitors is the stela found in Tonina, Chiapas where the divine twins mentioned in Popol Vuh are represented by the rulers of the city.

After archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) found the missing fragment and it underwent cleaning and restoration, it was sent to the INAH Direction of Archaeological Studies, from where it will be moved to MNA to be reintegrated to the monument that dates from 727 AD.

Archaeologist Juan Yadeun Angulo mentioned that the stela was found in 2002 at Witz Palace, in Tonina, where it was used as a lintel by Tzeltal groups that reoccupied the Acropolis centuries after it was deserted.

According to Yadeun, in charge of the INAH Tonina Archaeological Project, the limestone stela was part of the throne of ruler Jaguar Claw, located on the side of Shells Palace (Palacio de los Caracoles). The bas-relief remained at the foot of the throne for 100 years, until 840 AD, when Tonina declined.

Near 1400 AD a Tzeltal group reoccupied the ruins altering contexts like tombs and offerings. The stela fragmented and they covered it with a mud wall, closing off the door.

Central glyphs of the stele narrate that in October 28th 727, a ballgame began in the underworld between solar lord Jaguar Claw, the one at the left, and Kinich Baknal Chaak, to the right. Both appear wearing the ritual ballgame garments.

“We found the stela in 37 fragments; it was restored and exhibited at the MNA. In a subsequent field season we searched for the missing piece. We assumed it was ripped off at Palacio de los Caracoles, where we finally found it”, explained Yadeun.

As the archaeologist said, in contexts at Tonina altered by the Tzeltal group settled hundreds of years later, it is noticeable that in one way or other the symbolism of the hand is at play.

Members of the Tzeltal group refer to themselves as “the Lords of the Mighty Hand” and it is possible that this symbolic link had caused that Tzeltales left the piece with the hand just where it was.

“Divine Lords of Tonina Creating the Universe”
Jaguar Claw ordered the creation of the stela 4 years after his enthronement and 20 after the passing away of Kinich Baknal Chaak, his ancestor. Jaguar Claw is to the left, the side of life, wearing the Ixbalanque deity attire, while his ancestor is located on the side where the Sun dies, the east, wearing the underworld deity attire.

The stela represents the third creation of the universe, when one of the divine twins (whose deeds are narrated in Popol Vuh) defeated the lords of the underworld to free humanity of cold and darkness.

The tableau was dedicated to Ruler 4 of Tonina. It might have been a commemorative monument of his victory at the ritual ballgame, as it narrates how rulers 2 and 3, already dead, testified his triumph.

Mexico | National Institute of Anthropology and History | National Museum of Anthropology | Juan Yadeun Angulo | Maya Hall |

Today's News

July 10, 2010

One of the Most Emblematic Pieces, the Millenary Maya Stela will Be Complete Again

Master Painters Side by Side for the First Time in the Frans Hals Museum

John Singer Sargent's Sea Paintings Focus of UK Show

Getty Museum Announces Exhibition of Still Life Photography

Timothy Taylor Explores Art Practice in the Aftermath of Nazi Occupation

Sotheby's Sales of Old Master & British Pictures Bring a Total of $94.5 Million

Painting: Process and Expansion From the 1950s till Now at MUMOK

Michael Riedel Stops Making Sense at Hamburg's Kunstverein

MoMA's Third Annual Film Benefit to Honor Kathryn Bigelow

Julian Cox Named Chief Curator of the de Young Museum

Public Art Fund Announces Ryan Gander: The Happy Prince

Friedrich Petzel Presents Set of Prints Made in Collaboration with Jorge Pardo

Brooklyn Museum Target First Saturday Draws Record Breaking Attendance

Sir Winston Churchill's Masonic Apron on View in London

Roy Rogers Auction in New York City Offers Trigger's Remains

Artist Simon English Begins Epic Land Art Journey Down the Spine of England

Brooklyn Museum Announces Exhibition by Sam Taylor-Wood: "Ghosts"

Saint Louis Art Museum Names 2010 Romare Bearden Fellow

Important Roman Sculpture Joins Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Galerie Miranda opens exhibition of works by Marina Berio

2.- Restorers unveil original face of Belgium's 'Mystic Lamb'

3.- Classic Beauties unveils the sensual enchantment of Neoclassicism

4.- Exhibition presents a dramatic survey of five hundred years of Spanish painting

5.- Glasgow blaze guts one of world's top art schools - again

6.- The Prado opens the first major monographic exhibition on Lorenzo Lotto's portraits

7.- Cleveland Museum of Art announces new acquisitions

8.- A record setting necklace, diamonds & gemstones propel $1.9 million in jewelry sales at Rago in June

9.- Czech Art Nouveau painter Mucha's masterpiece finds home after 90 years

10.- Exhibition at The Laing Art Gallery explores the garden as a "stage" for the extraordinary

Related Stories

Mexico's Mayas face Dec. 21 with ancestral calm

Diverse Cultures Contributed to New Mexico Art

Mexican Authorities Recover 144 Original Pre-Columbian Pieces and Colonial Religious Works

Objects Found in Teotihuacan Neighborhood Exhibited

Reconstruction of 10,000 Year-Old Woman Found in Mexico Suggests Diverse Migration

Diego Rivera Created the Mexican Revolution Plastic Myth

More Findings Registered Under Palacio de Bellas Artes

Vestiges of a Prehispanic Oven to Melt Copper Found in Zacatecas

Ichnites Site in Coahuila Undergo Maintenance Thanks to Temporary Employment Program

Tembleque Aqueduct Registered in 3D Images

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful