This ball court marker may have been placed in the playing alley for use in the Mesoamerican ballgame. The outer band has scrolls pointing to each of the four cardinal directions, separated by Caban glyphs, symbols of the earth. A Maya ballplayer squats in the center, wearing a wide beltlike yoke and holding what appears to be the game ball in his left hand and the decapitated head of the Jester God in his right hand. The ballplayer’s solar headdress identifies him as one of the hero twins from the Maya epic the Popol Vuh, in his aspect as the sun god. Part of the Popol Vuh discusses vanquishing death, represented by the lords of the underworld, and the means to achieving everlasting life.
tags: play, ceremony
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Hanes