Bloodletting with Lady Xoc: A Woman’s Work is Never Done
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Lintel 24 is the designation given by modern archaeologists to an ancient Maya limestone carving from Yaxchilan , in modern Chiapas , Mexico. The ruler, Shield Jaguar , holds a torch while his consort, Lady Xoc , pulls a rope studded with what are now believed to be obsidian shards through her tongue in order to conjure a vision serpent. Lintel 24 was found in its original context alongside Lintels 25 and 26 in Structure 23 of Yaxchilan. Alfred Maudslay had the lintel cut from the ceiling of a side entrance in and shipped to Great Britain where it remains today in the British Museum of London. Lintel 25 made the journey in Lintel 26 was discovered in by Teobert Maler.
Although actual biographical information regarding Lady Xoc is limited, what survives illustrates the essential role that royal women played in the Mayan religion. The Maya placed great emphasis on personal sacrifice and bloodletting. Not only did blood provide nourishment for the gods, but it also allowed the divine to enter into the performer's being. The specific actions of Lady Xoc are recorded on two carved lintels, currently housed the British Museum. In one lintel, Lady Xoc kneels next to a standing Shield Jaguar who is dressed in ceremonial costume. Lady Xoc is shown drawing a thorn-lined rope through her mutilated tongue. The rope falls into a basket, and her blood is caught by a stingray spine.
Lintel 24 is the designation given by modern archaeologists to an ancient Maya limestone The ruler, Shield Jaguar, holds a torch while his consort, Lady Xoc, pulls a rope studded with what are now believed to be obsidian shards through.
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She is believed by many to have been the sister of Lady Pacal. Lady Xoc is best known for adorning Structure 23 in Yaxchilan with 3 lintels Lintel 24, Lintel 25, and Lintel 26 that depict her performing rituals. Royal Maya women are often depicted via texts and iconography like lintels. However, other women of Maya culture are not depicted in this manner. Also, Lady Xoc appears in the images performing ritual sacrifices, which women were not typically seen doing in ancient Maya art. It is through Lady Xoc and her lintels that we understand just how involved royal women were with Maya rituals and politics [ citation needed ]. He was considered to be a great ruler of Yaxchilan.
Maya: The Yaxchilan Lintels