K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo' biography

K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo'

Male, Person


Who is K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo'?

K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo is named in Maya inscriptions as the founder and first ruler, k'ul ahaw, of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization polity centered at Copán, a major Maya site located in the southeastern Maya lowlands region in present-day Honduras. The motifs associated with his depiction on Copan monuments have a distinct resemblance to imagery associated with the height of the Classic-era center of Teotihuacan in the distant northern central Mexican region, and have been interpreted as intending to suggest his origins and association with that prestigious civilization. One of the most commonly cited motifs for this interpretation is Yax K'uk' Mo's 'goggle-eyed' headdress with which he is commonly depicted, seemingly an invocation of the northern central Mexican rain deity known as Tlaloc to later peoples such as the Aztecs. However, modern strontium isotope analysis of the human remains recovered from the tomb attributed to him indicate that K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo' spent his formative years much closer to Copán, at Tikal, and had not himself lived at Teotihuacan.


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