Tikal, Central Acropolis Court 4

Court 4, Buildings 53 & 54

"Across the court from the west facade [of Great Jaguar Claw's Palace], the accumulated renovations from several kings resulted in an unusual stepped configuration with the roof of one building providing a wide patio for the level above.

These patios were used for dancing in the celebrations honoring Toh-Chak-Ich'ak and his lineage. Feasting and other celebratory rituals could well have occurred throughout the spaces of Court 6."

Linda Schele & Peter Mathews, The Code of Kings, p.80


Tikal: Dancers

Tikal: Dancers

Dancers portrayed on pottery found at Tikal: drawings from Tikal Report 25, Part A: The Ceramics of Tikal, Univ. of Pennsylvania Museum, 1993.

"The ancient Maya used dance as a major part of their rituals throughout their history.

Kings, lords, and commoners danced, dressed in masked costumes that represented the gods, spirits, and ancestors into whom they transformed as they performed.

Painters and sculptors depicted dances like these on pots, stelae, lintels, and many other media. "

Schele & Mathews, The Code of Kings, p. 82

NOTE: These dance portraits come from pottery found in royal tombs at Tikal.


Tikal: Central Acropolis

Buildings 53 & 54

"The Maya left images that help us imagine the splendor and pagentry of their ancestral rituals.

Once again, the drawings cannot be seen today, but they once decorated the walls of Toh-Chak-Ich'ak's throne room.

One depicted a procession of befeathered lords in a ritual taking place on a series of wide terraces. In this image, some lords carry or wear branches of a plant, while others, including a couple of women, stand among huge banners."

Schele & Mathews, The Code of Kings, p. 81. Drawing from Tikal Report 31: The Graffitti of Tikal. The Univ. of Pennsylvania Museum, 1983, Fig.48

Tikal: Central Acropolis

Tikal: Central Acropolis

Court 4, Buildings 53 & 54