Maya Relief of Royal Blood Letting
Check out my Yucatan Peninsula set for more images from 'Maya Mexico' (amongst others Chichen Itza, Coba, Tulum.)
This maya relief depicts a bloodletting ritual performed by the King of Yaxhilan, Shield Jaguar III and his wife Lady Xook. The king holds a flaming torch over his wife, who is pulling a thorny rope through her tongue. Scrolls of blood can be seen around her mouth. These blood letting rituals served to emphasis the authority and power of maya rulers. The relief was originally set above the left doorway of Structure 23 at Yaxchilan, from which it was removed by Maudslay.
The glyphs are translated as: "This is the image of King Shield Jaguar fulfilling his ritual obligation with a flaming spear in Yaxchilan on the 24th October AD 709."