Kohunlich, Temple of the Masks

Pyramid of the Masks: lowest level mask on right side [Dec. 31, 1997]

The T-shaped tooth and the barbels protruding from the corners of his mouth identify this as the sun, Kinich Ahau. For a more stylized representation of this god, see the great astronomical frieze at Xunantunich.

Another interpretation proposed by Karl Taube during a Maya Weekend at the University of Pennsylvania Museum is that the markings at the sides of the mouth as well as the spheres under the nose represent vital breath or life force. This style of markings may also be seen on jade funerary masks from Calakuml, where the breath scrolls convincingly originate from inside of the mouth [use your browser's BACK button to return here].