Uxmal, Nunnery Quadrangle

Nunnery Quadrangle: Chac Masks on corner of West Building [June 22, 1995]

"The designs were strange and incomprehensible, very elaborate, sometimes grotesque, but often simple, tasteful, and beautiful. Among the intelligible subjects are squares and diamonds, with bursts of human beings, heads of leopards, and compositions of leaves and flowers, and the ornaments known everywhere as grecques. The ornaments, which succeed each other, are all different; the whole form an extraordinary mass of richness and complexity, and the effect is both grand and curious.

And the construction of these ornaments is not less peculiar and striking than the general effect. There were no tablets or single stones representing separately and by itself an entire subject; but every ornament or combination is made up of separate stones. Each stone, by itself, was an unmeaning fractional part; but, placed by the side of others, helped to make a whole. Perhaps it may be called a species of sculptured mosaic."

John L. Stephens, Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas & Yucatan, Vol. 2, p. 422