Uxmal, House of the Governor detail

Central Ornament, House of the Governor [Jan. 2, 2003]

"...the largest single figural motif on the entire east frieze is placed above the central doorway of the large, middle chamber. A frontal human figure sits at the center of a tiered arrangement of eight bars terminating in serpent heads. Within the bars are hieroglyphic inscriptions, some of which pertain to astronomical phenomena and some of which are grotesque reptilian heads.

The central personage of the design sits on a semicircular pedestal ornamented with disks. The sculpture's head and arms are missing, but we can presume from an extant sculptured head taken from elsewhere on the frieze that the visage was human. The individual's shoulders are covered by a broad cape, at whose center is a plaited mat-weave medallion. He wears a belt decorated in front with an inverted, miniature human head and with step-frets, mat-weave design, and serrated bands on the sides. The figure supports a huge feather headdress whose plumes are attached to a tall central frame, only the armature of which exists today."

J. Kowalsky, The house of the Governor, p. 153-154