Stela 35, on which carvings on both its faces show Lady Skull-Ik with the "vision of the snake," while, on the wall behind the stela, there is a modeled stucco scene with five seated personages. There are also traces of three deities and several glyphs. The colors used were red, green, blue, yellow and black.
From the INAH Sign at the Site
Note the mirror suspended behind Stela 35, which allows visitors to see the back of the stela.
"After the discovery of Stela 35 by Roberto García Moll in 1982, I proposed that because lady Ik Skull was depicted on both sides of the stela letting blood in a ceremony that occurred about a year prior to Shield Jaguar's death, but Shield Jaguar was not named in an u cab statmenent on the stela, as was customary when women did ceremonies while a king was ruler, she may have temporarily had responsibility for ceremonial duties at the site. I cited the existence of a Mah K'ina title, usually reserved for rulers, as evidence that her position was like that of a ruler."
Carolyn E. Tate, Yaxchilan: The Design of a Maya Ceremonial City, p. 124
It is believed that Lady Evening Star [Lady Ik Skull] was a foreigner, possibly from Calakmul. She was the mother of Bird Jaguar IV.
Lady Ik-Skull, who Schele and Freidel refer to as "Lady Eveningstar", wears the skeletal-serpent-and-monkey-skull headdress and holds bloodletting equipment.
Maya royalty were in fact sorcerers and magicians who functioned as shamans for their people.
This photo is a view into the mirror suspended behind Stela 35, showing Lady Ik Skull performing a blood sacrifice. Carolyn Tate argues that she was performing this ritual as a ruler of Yaxchilan:
"On the back of the stela, where her tongue bloodletting is actually portrayed, Lady Ik Skull is again named with a Lady Mah K'ina title, dispelling doubt that the title was hers."
Carolyn E. Tate, Yaxchilan: The Design of a Maya Ceremonial City, p. 124
Detail of the superb brocaded textiles worn by Lady Eveningstar.
"Maudslay had recognized the city's remarkable vision, carting off numerous lintels and stelas to the British Museum and instituting the archaeology of theft in Mesoamerica. Among his prizes were two sequences of door lintels numbering 15 through 17 [from Structure 21] and 24 through 26 [Structure 23], masterpieces that depict, in successive narrative panels as in a comic strip, a historical occurrence of ritual bloodletting, the vision it produced, and the subsequent captive sacrifice the vision justified."
Christopher Shaw, Sacred Monkey River: A Canoe Trip with the Gods, p. 275
Detail of the modeled stucco scene of five seated personages witnessing the ritual of Lady Eveningstar.
Detail of stuccowork to the left of the stela.
"The façade is organized so that the three entranceways divide the wall space into four equal sections. Above the doorways, the frieze is bordered by upper and lower projecting cornices. Situated over each doorway is a niche 1.67 m hight, 0.96 m wide. and 0.43 m deep. On the back wall of the niche are three roughtly square mortises of about 12 cm dimensions. they are arranged in a vertical line and were used for tenoning stone and stucco sculpture. Immediately below each nich is a zoomorphic mask panel which served as a throne for the seated stucco figure once inside each niche. One niche of similar proportions appears on each end of the structure and three on the rear façade."
Carolyn E. Tate, Yaxchilan: The Design of a Maya Ceremonial City, p. 188
Looking into the interior of Structure 20 from the ruined South East end.
About this stucco figure, Carolyn Tate writes: "During his 1980 exploration and consolidation of the structure, Roberto Garcia Moll found no traces of the stucco sculpture that had once been attached to the façade, However, in July 1985, when Martin Diedrich and I were measuring Structure 20, we noticed a lifesize stone core of a stuccoed torso near the pile of loose stones immediately northwest of the structure. Both of us recognized that it was the lower portion of a seated cross-legged figure, and we began to look for other parts of the figure on the surface of the terrace, without disturbing any soil. In less than a minute we had located the chest area of the figure on the edge of the upper terrace, immediately in front of the northwest niche. It was barely covered by weeds, although the grass around the structure had recently been mowed with machetes. We looked below on the next terrace and easily found the central portion of a head, again without disturbing any soil or digging in any way. We photographed and measured these and other fragments, and brought them to the attention of the guards. These pieces were of the proper size to fit in the niches."
Carolyn E. Tate, Yaxchilan: The Design of a Maya Ceremonial City, p. 189
The glyphs say this vision-serpent event occurred on 4 Imix 4 Mol (184.108.40.206.1) or July 2, 741 AD
"Represented in the scene are Ix Chak Joloom, senior wife of Yaxuun Bahlam IV [Bird Jaguar IV], and her brother, the sajal official Chak Joloom, as they impersonate supernatural entities and conjure K'awiil. From the maws of the just-invoked serpent emerges the king himself.
This event occurred on the day 4 Imix 4 Mol (220.127.116.11.1, 2 July AD 741), as is likewise attested on Lintel 39 and Stela 35. These ceremonies seem to be intended to reinforce and legitimize Yaxuun Bahlam IV's accession to the throne, apparently with the support of the Kaanul court (Calakmul)."
Mesoweb Resources: Monuments of Yaxchilan: Lintel 14. Ángel a. Sáanchez Gamboa & Guido Krempel.
Lady Ix Chak Joloom, Bird Jaguar's senior wife, is on the left while her brother stands on the right. In between is the vision serpent, from which the image of the king emerges.
This lintel was commissioned by Shield Jaguar IV, Bird Jaguar IV's son and successor. Therefore, this would make lady Ix Chak Joloom (Lady Great Skull) his mother.
This lintel is dated 752 A.D.
Lintel 13 above the central doorway shows another vision quest performed by Bird Jaguar IV and his wife. A materialized serpent shows an ancestor figure emerging from its jaws.
"This lintel depicts Bird Jaguar IV and his wife or consort Lady Chak Chami wielding hafted bloodletters and other bloodletting paraphernalia. A large serpent disgorges the probably form of their child, the future Shield Jaguar IV (the figure's headdress touches a reference to Shield Jaguar IV's birth in the main text, at A3). The scene is probably a metaphorical one, though many key textual passages remain eroded and obscure."
Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology. Harvard University. Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions: Inscriptions at Yaxchilan
When found by Maudslay this lintel had already fallen to the ground from the central doorway of Structure 20.
The stelae at Yaxchilan depict victorious warriors facing all who passed by on the river and images of royal blood sacrifice on the sides facing the hillside temples. Stelae on the Main Plaza all exhibit severely eroded surfaces facing the river and relatively well-preserved surfaces on the temple side, because, as Carolyn Tate explains, "Due to accidents of weather and human judgement, when the stelae on the Main Plaza fell, they all fell toward the hills, with the river sides exposed to rain."
Carolyn E. Tate, Yaxchilan: The Design of a Maya Ceremonial City, p. 100
An image of Shield Jaguar IV as a warrior, from the river side of Stela 5 which portrayed war themes. This particular stela happened to break into two fragments as it fell, and unlike most of the other stela, the river side of this fragment happened to fall face down and was thus protected from the rains.
Bird Jaguar IV was the son of Shield Jaguar IV and Lady Ik Skull
Temple side of stela 6, featuring a portrait of Bird Jaguar III. Stela 6 retains the Long Count date given here [18.104.22.168.13 5 Ben 1 Uayeb] for the completion of Bird Jaguar III's second katun as Ahau.
Carolyn E. Tate, Yaxchilan: The Design of a Maya Ceremonial City, p. 194
Bird Jaguar III was the grandfather of Bird Jaguar IV
"Stela 6 broke into two pieces. The upper three-quarters of the monument forms one of the fragments and the butt, with a small portion of lower-register carving, the other. It was carved on two side, although on the river side only the vaguest outline of a figure wearing a war scarf remains. Maler photographed and described it first."
Carolyn E. Tate, Yaxchilan: The Design of a Maya Ceremonial City, p. 191-2