Itzamnaaj

J_Itzamnaaj 1

Classic period polychrome vase animating, on rotation, a seated Itzamnaaj to turn from facing a large grotesque head with long snout, likely K’awiil, towards the viewer, while gesticulating excitedly at the scrolls issuing from K’awiil’s top-knot worn on his head.

In his first depiction, Itzamnaaj’s left hand holds his necklace pendant, possibly a profile face, while raising his open right palm towards K’awiil’s head scrolls. On rotation, the long-snouted K’awiil head opens its maw wider to reveal fangs and vertically grows its top-knot scrolls, as if pulled up by Itzamnaaj’s hand gesture, to touch the glyph band running around the vase rim above, depicted on the original vase.

The rim text on the original vessel repeats the sign couplet waj (‘bread’; T504) and ha’ (‘water’; T501), separated by ‘empty’ glyphs, read by Eric Boot (2005:3) to refer to a feast; Boot thus suggests that this vessel was specifically made for feasting. 

A smooth and progressive movement of the first scene to the second is suggested by Itzamnaaj’s hands stretching to touch both of K’awiil’s head scrolls on the original vase. 

Animation extracted and adapted from Kerr 1992:382, file no. 3091.