Rubbings of Mayan Stone Stelae

Middle Classic
40" X 72"

Bilbao Monument 3
© James A. McBride II

   This ball-game player is making an offering of a human heart to the celestial diety emerging from the jaws of a stylized jaguar. The diety may be a sun good. The face, which is in high relief, is human, but flames act as substitutes for locks of hair and also radiate from both arms and around the sun-disk pendant hanging from the god's neck.

   The defeated player is portrayed as of smaller stature and already dead. His body takes on the form of a skeleton wearing ball-game paraphernalia-yoke, knee pad, and either serpent-effegy glove or handstone. He points with his forefinger at the heart offering, as if to bring attention to the glory of sacrifice. A typical Cotzumalhuapa "tabbed" speech scroll connects the two figures, the one living and the other dead. The decapitated head rests upon a skull rack.

   The heart being offered in sacrifice is an anthropomorphic cacao pod. Note the closed eye, turned-down mouth, and the stem and casing of the pod which is held a loft by the ball game victor, over whose head are two Ocelotl glyphs.