Stela H

Stela H in the Great Plaza, Copan, Honduras

"This magnificent stela depicts Waxaklahun-Ubah-K'awil [18-Rabbit, 13th ruler of Copan] in the role of the Maize God as he danced at Creation. In the Classic-period story of Creation, the Maize Gods are the central characters in the drama that explains the processes of death and rebirth through confrontation with the Lords of Death in Xibalba.

Classic-period imagery shows the Maize Gods being reborn from a snake, growing from infancy to adulthood, and being dressed in full regalia by beautiful young women. This regalia included a net skirt, a fish monster-and-shell belt, and a huge backrack carrying one of three animals who would become the Throne Stones of the Cosmic Hearth.

Once fully dressed, the Maize Gods danced in the company of dwarves and began the activities that led to the Fourth Creation. Waxaklahun-Ubah-K'awil reenacts this dance on Stela H, and to reinforce his identity, he wears a huge zoomorphic Maize God headdress with the leaves and ear of the plant arching over his head."

Linda Schele & Peter Mathews, The Code of Kings: The Language of Seven Sacred Maya Temples and Tombs, p. 154