K'awiil

A wooden figurine from Tikal Burial 195 in Structure 5D-32 built against the south front of the North Acropolis, possibly dating to shortly after AD 628.

It is one of four identical figurines, each about 16 inches high, carved in wood, sealed with thin plaster, and then painted. The wood had rotted away leaving a cavity which the excavators filled with new plaster to retrieve the figure. This work was done by a Guatemalan, Rudi Larios, who later went on to do similar work at Copan.

The figure known as "K'awiil" may represent the natural force that ancient Maya thinkers understood as the basis of rulership. Although they appear identical, the four figures in the tomb may refer to the four directions associated with many natural forces.

The axe projecting from the forehead is the diagnostic element that identifies the figurine as a "K'awiil".

photo: HSL The projecting element above the teeth is clearly a kind of animal snout, not a "nose". A nostril is positioned above it.

there is more information on 5D 32 and its excavation

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