I See You
September 23rd, 2020
If you’re still reading, thanks for sticking with me through Chichén Itzá! It’s such a large and significant Mayan site, it would be difficult to write just one post about it. I find it easier to grasp in smaller chunks and more fun to keep the journey going for a bit in these times of no travel.
After yesterday’s look at La Iglesia, today we’re pulling faces at the Nunnery Complex which encompasses all the structures of the area. The Puuc architectural style is evident throughout with lattice patterns, zigzags, X shapes and elaborate carvings in stone, but the more remarkable element of this area is the number of faces on every surface. Look first for the eyes or maybe the appropriately named “bignosed” masks extending from the corners, then find the open mouth and see the face.
Within each face is another smaller face — the image of man within the image of a Mayan god, resting on the bridge of the nose. With prolific reference to decapitation throughout Chichén Itzá, featuring only the heads does show continuity. Above them, a serpent or a row of flowers. Maybe a symbol of masculine or feminine qualities? As we learned at Cobá, women and men both held powerful positions in society and may have been honored here with their faces in stone.
Tomorrow, we’ll explore the Group of the Thousand Columns before moving on to the ball court.
Post of the Day: Adding a bit of light to the darkness as we get through the pandemic together. This series features travel photos from my archives, shared with you while staying close to home.