Work Record Linked to Subject Authority [Figure 33]

Work Record

Class [controlled] ceramics • Pre-Columbian art
*Work Type [link] cup
*Title Vessel with Mythological Scene of the Maya Underworld | Title Type: preferred
*Creator display unknown Maya
*Role [link]: artist | [link]: unknown Maya
*Creation Date 8th century
[controlled]: Earliest: 0700; Latest: 0799
*Subject [links to authorities] religion and mythology • object (utilitarian) • Xibalbá (Maya iconography) • underworld • skeleton • death • ax • altar • celebration • sacrifice • Baby Jaguar • ceremonial object
Culture Maya
*Current Location [link] Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, New York, United States) | ID: 1978.412.206
Creation Location [link] Petén Department (Guatemala)
*Measurements 14 cm (height) (5 1/2 inches)
[controlled]: Value: 14; Unit: cm; Type: height
*Materials and Techniques terracotta
Material [link]: terracotta | Technique [link]: vase painting
Description Straight-sided ceramic vessels with painted decoration comprising complex scenes were common in 8thcentury Maya art. The "codex-style" painting depicts a scene in the realm of the Lords of Death, where a dancing figure holds a long-handled axe and a handstone. On a monster-head altar lies Baby Jaguar, a deity figure, and beside the altar is a dancing, skeletal death figure. The meaning has been variously interpreted as depicting either sacrifice or celebration.
Description Source [link] Metropolitan Museum of Art online. (accessed February 1, 2004).

* Required and recommended elements


Subject Authority Record

*Subject Names Xibalbá (preferred)
Place of Fear
*Hierarchical position [link] Maya iconography
...... legends from the Popol Vuh
.......... Xibalbá
*Indexing Terms [controlled] underworld • demons • Hero Twins • Vucub-Camé (demon) • Hun-Camé (demon)
Note In the creation myth of the highland Quiché Maya, the underground realm called Xibalbá was ruled by the demon kings Hun-Camé and Vukub-Camé. It was a dangerous place accessed by a steep and difficult path. The Hero Twins, Hun-Hunapú and Vukub-Hunapú, were lured to Xibalbá by a ball game challenge, but were then tricked and slaughtered. However, the twins were avenged by Hun-Hunapú's sons, Hunapú and Xbalanqué.
*Source [links] World Mythology (1981);
Page: 473 ff.

* Required and recommended elements

CREDIT: Vessel with Mythological Scene, 8th century;
Maya peoples; Guatemala, Petén Department; Ceramic;
height 5 1/2 in. (14 cm). View #1. The Metropolitan
Museum of Art, Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial
Collection, Purchase, Nelson A. Rockefeller, Gift, 1968.
(1978.412.206); Photograph © 1981 The Metropolitan
Museum of Art.