Stela A

Copan: Stela A [January 9, 2004]

"The tall crown of woven matting that 18-Rabbit wears belongs to an ancient iconographic complex that can be first identified on Abaj Takalik Stela 2. This Late Preclassic sculpture is one of many in Maya art that show the spirit of a deified ancestor appearing to his descendant. The floating ancestor wears this same woven crown, and his cheek is marked with k'in to identify him as the sun. Schele and Miller (1986:50) remark that this aspect of the sun god, who has squint eyes and a k'in infix in his cheek, seems to represent the daytime sun. Stela 2, then, portrays the soul of a dead king at the zenith of the sky, speaking to his descendant from the shimmering solar disk. His figure emerges from the swirling scrollwork of clouds and clasps a vision serpent in crab-claw position. The serpent, in turn, disgorges some object of power from its jaws."

Elizabeth A. Newsome, Trees of Paradise and Pillars of the World: The Serial Stela Cycle of 18-Rabbit-God K, King of Copan, p. 134