The Quadripartite Badge: Narratives Of Power And Resurrection In Maya Iconography

Publication Year:
Usage 95
Downloads 84
Abstract Views 11
Repository URL:
Ingalls, Victoria
Quadripartite badge; maya; iconography; liminality; gi
thesis / dissertation description
Ancient Maya iconography primarily depicted elite individuals in idealized states of being and rationalized their power and authority through ideological concepts and otherworld beings. This study aims to reexamine previous assumptions made concerning the Quadripartite Badge. This motif is examined based on iconographic associations and contexts, as well as temporal and spatial distributions. The dataset was created from currently identified examples of the Quadripartite Badge, although only a select group is extensively examined. The spread of this motif is demonstrated through time and its spatial dispersals are noted for their political consequences. Indicating the liminal status of its user, the Badge is frequently placed in scenes of transformation, accompanying rites of passage. It is also established that as elite women became more prominent, women from Tikal and Calakmul circulated this iconography through marriage alliances, as seen in the number of newly ‘arrived’ women carrying the Badge. Other iconographic associations of the Badge revealed strong ties with the Maize God and the cyclical nature of agriculture. For the continuation of the maize cycle and renewal of universal forces, sacrifice was required; the completion of ritual sacrifice was demonstrated through the depiction of the Quadripartite Badge. This one expression of power simultaneously validated earthly and otherworldy authority, ensuring the continuation of the cosmos and the perpetuation of the sun and maize cycles