The Eastern Side of Codz Poop Shows Toltec Influence

East Side of Codz Poop

The eastern side of the Codz Poop has an entirely different style of decoration than the Chac masks on the western side. The theme here is armed warriors and warfare.

This side of the building was added to the original building at a later date. It has been speculated that Kabah was occupied for a short time by Maya-Toltecs from Chichen Itza, and this portion of the building may date from that period.

These Toltec Warriors contrast starkly with the Chac masks on the west side

Toltec Warriors, East Side of Codz Poop

What are often described as "Toltek" or Central Mexican warriors are featured on the eastern side of the Codz Poop.

Note the stone mosaic work underneath the statues. These elements were mass produced in workshops and provided standardized decorative elements.

Eastern side of Codz Poop: Toltec (Central Mexican) militaristic figures

Codz Poop East Side showing militaristic figures

The Toltecs were a non-Maya indigenous group from central Mexico. They were a warlike people who conquered surrounding tribes and imposed tribute without any concern for integration and were held in high regard by the Maya and Aztecs. The Toltec Quetzalcoatl or feathered serpent had a Maya equivalent Kukalcan, known at the Feathered Serpent, who appears prominently at Chichen Itza.

The background behind these Toltec-like figures shows patterns representing huge feathered and tasseled backracks which the kings (or governors) are wearing. These backracks were presumably made of irridescent green quetzal feathers.

Detail of Toltec Warrior

Codz Poop East Side Toltec Warrior

The eyes of this statue once held shell or obsidian inlay. The figure also appears to be wearing padded armor on his forearms, and perhaps a ball-player's protective girdle around his hips.

Mary Ellen Miller believes that this tattooed or scarified lord is the same person represented on the door jambs of this building [next photos].

Mary Ellen Miller, Maya Art and Architecture, p. 142

Side view of East Side showing elaborately carved door jamb

Codz Poop Carved Door Jambs

Photo by Jeff Purcell, June 10, 2004

"One of the most elaborate buildings of the north, the House of Masks at Kabah, also features elaborate door jambs that frame an interior room" and continues the narrative of the Toltec warriors

Mary Ellen Miller, Maya Art and Architecture, p. 141

Codz Poop east side, detail from doorjamb

Codz Poop Door Jambs

Photo by Jeff Purcell, June 10, 2004

"Door jambs from Kabah present a sequence of warfare and dance. Following success in taking captives, rendered on the lower half of the monument, the victors dance in the upper half. Distinctive scarification, face paint, and jewelry mark the protagonists, indicating that the same victors appear in each scene...

Unlike any other Puuc sculptures, the figures overlie elaborate background scrollwork and heads, similar to the device used in the Great Ballcourt sculpture at Chichen Itzá."

Mary Ellen Miller, Maya Art and Architecture, p. 141

Door jambs, Codz Poop east side

Codz Poop East Side Doorjamb

Photo by Jeff Purcel, June 10, 2004

The opposing doorjamb presents an analogous scene of prisoner capture and dance.

Between the upper and lower panels on each jamb is a row of glyphs. The glyphs are unreadable on the opposite jamb, and translations of dates on this jamb have been wildly inconsistent and contradictory. David Stuart offers a new reading here, based in part on the discovery of a similar jamb on the western side of the structure in room 21. He dates this jamb to 857 A.D.

Architectural detail from East Side of Codz Poop

Codz Poop East Side Later Construction

Photo by Jeff Purcel, June 10, 2004

The architectural decorations on the east side are totally different from those on the western side. The east side is presumably a later construction.

Architectural Detail

Codz Poop Architectural Detail from East Side

Detail of columns and mosaic construction techniques