12 Ajaw 18 Sip (May 29, 2017): The Cobá Áayin K’uj Stela

12 Ajaw 18 Sip. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

The Cobá Áayin K’uj Stela and the vulnerability of new Maya monuments

On this Memorial Day, I would like to both celebrate the incredible work of Luis May Ku and the construction of the beautiful Áayin K’uj (Crocodile God) Stela, which he created to commemorate the “21 de Marzo” Primary School in Cobá, Quintana Roo, Mexico. After a year of hard work, dedication, and planning, this beautiful work of art was unveiled this past March 21st, to celebrate the school’s anniversary and the first day of spring.

The exquisitely sculpted monument depicts the wise, old anthropomorphic Crocodile God on one side, celebrating an important ancient Maya deity and the local reptilian inhabitants of the Laguna Cobá. The reverse side contains a full Long Count and dedicatory text, with each ceramic glyph lovingly sculpted and individually fired in a kiln. The unveiling of the monument was celebrated with a ritual ceremony in which the children of Cobá participated. Here are some photographs of the event, and the beautiful stela, decorated with mosaic tile.

Luis May Ku and the Maya children of Cobá unveil the Áayin K’uj Stela on March 21st.

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