free issue                                     back issues                                                        subscribe 

Athena Review Image Archive

The Maya Moon Goddess, Ix Chel

The popular Maya Moon Goddess Ix Chel ("She of the rainbows") was patron of childbirth and healing, and the art of weaving. A Postclassic shrine to Ix Chel on the island of Cozumel was much visited by Mayans, and was probably still active when the Spaniards first arrived in 1518-19 during the voyages of Grijalva and Cortés.

The Temple of the Frescoes at Tulúm has a small colonnaded lower gallery with murals in the Mixteca-Puebla style, dating from about AD 1450. One of the paintings shows the goddess Ix Chel holding two small Chacs or rain deities.The central theme of these murals is fertility, maize and associated ceremonies of death and rebirth. Among the fertility symbols are water lilies.

[Fig.1: Detail of fresco at Tulúm, with Ix Chel holding the rain deities, or Chacs (photo: Athena Review).]


Athena Review Image Archive™   | Guide to Archaeology on the Internet   |   free trial issue |  subscribe  |  back issues

Main index of Athena Review   |   Subject Index   |   Travel Pages   |  Galleries and Museums  |  Ad rates |  Current issue index

Copyright  ©  1996-2003    Athena Publications, Inc.  (All Rights Reserved).