Pot from El Chiclero Pottery Museum

This fragment of a vase is in the Holmul-style, named for the archaeological site of Holmul, located in eastern Guatemala, where similar vases were first excavated archaeologically in 1911. "Scores of vessels have since appeared, which are painted in a similar palette and with the same image of a dancing lord wearing an elaborate backrack. The variability in the depictions of the dancers, the degree of elaborateness of their costumes and the hand-writing differences noted in the hieroglyphic texts suggest that many workshops from many sites in one region were creating vessels in this style.

...most Holmul-style vessels are characterized by less-accomplished brush work and pictorial compositional abilities...This lesser quality suggests that these vessels were intended for a broader segment of Maya society lying outside the uppermost elite, a segment whose social and economic positions did not provide the mechanisms for acquiring finely painted and personalized elite wares. The large quantity of this pottery correlates with the far greater numbers of people occupying the intermediary elite and even lower echelon of Maya sociey, in contrast to those few at the pinnacle of power. The majority of the Holmul-style vessels probably were created for these consumers, who may be considered as the Classic Period version of a middle class."

Dorie Reents-Budet, Painting the Maya Universe: Royal Ceramics of the Classic Period, p. 337 & 184