Vijf pareltjes uit Copán

Weer door het museum van Copán te kunnen lopen
aan de hand van mijn foto’s is super.
Tegelijk is het moeilijk.
toen ik er was heb ik niet altijd alle begeleidende teksten
gelezen. Nu doe ik dat wel.
Dan tik ik ze uit om ze op te nemen in mijn blog.
Vaak is dat dan een reden om de foto nog eens beter te bekijken
of om het boek er nog eens bij te pakken.

Vijf pareltjes.


Honduras, Copán, Museo de la Escultura de Copán, Reconstruction of Structure 22A: Popol Nah.

Public buildings called ‘Popol Nah’, which means mat house in Yucatan Mayan and ‘Popol Otot’ in Cholan Mayan were placed for community gatherings and council.
Some buildings with this same function are still in use today in rural Maya communities of Yucatan.
Copán’s structure 22a was an addition to the Acropolis on the west side of structure 22, during the reign of the 14th ruler, K’ahk’ Joplaj Chan K’awiil.
The woven mats translate as ‘pop’ (these were Maya symbols of authority and community).
The mats are coupled with nine niche figures and glyphic place names that designated this structure as the community or council house, ‘Popol Nah’.


Here governors from the nine named divisions of the Copán region gathered to confer on political and religious issues.
Community groups performed dances and feasted.
Each residential division may have had their own smaller versions of the ‘popol nah’.
One Mayan term for governors was ‘holpop’ meaning ‘he at the head of the mat’.


A glyph that is read ‘9 Ajaw’ repeats in pairs around the buildings façade.
It probably has the dual meaning of ‘9 Ajaw’ the day of the period ending when the structure was dedicated ( 9 Ajaw 18 Xul: AD 746), and ‘9 Lords’ referring to the nine division governors comparing them to the ‘nine lords of the night’ found in many inscriptions.
Near the roof are flower symbols reading ‘sac nic te’il’ meaning ‘sacred with flower’ a metaphor for the soul.
Serpents (seen in profile at the top) are the flower stamens (meeldraden).
‘Sac nic te’il’ is known to be another name for the community houses.
It perhaps means something like ‘soul of the community’.



Honduras, Copán, Museo de la Escultura de Copán, Structure 9M-195: Mask, woven mat and heads.

The living quarters 150 meters west of group 9N-8 in Las Sepulturas displayed another sculpted façade.
Large grotesque masks were repeated eight times around the main structure.
‘Kan’ signs in the foreheads of the masks signify yellow or precious.
Other sculptures scattered around the nearby plazas such as the woven mat, bird, and the jaguar heads tell us about social, political or religious functions of other buildings in this area.



Honduras, Copán, Museo de la Escultura de Copán, Structure 9M-195: Mask, woven mat and heads.