Frieze Detail

Balakmu Frieze Detail [January 4, 2003]

Spinden figure 123

The clusters of tiny spheres may represent preciousness and the fertility of the earth. Elaborating on the related symbolism of the young Maize God, Spinden writes:

"...the bunches of circles enclosed in leaflike objects may represent the ear of maize or bursting seed pods. In an interesting stucco decoration in the Palace at Palenque are shown comparable circular details as well as maize ears rather realistically drawn, while the [maize] god himself appears at the top of the design."

Herbert J. Spinden, A Study of Maya Art, 1975: p. 89

Note the delicately painted blue-black lines edging the scrollwork.