San Bartolo murals
" According to Karl Taube, iconographer for the San Bartolo project, the murals represent an early version of a myth that dominated Maya culture for fifteen hundred years. In the first scene, a man stands in water, sacrificing a fish to the principle bird deity, who perches in the first "world tree." In the second scene, a man stands on land, offering a deer to a second bird in the second world tree; in the third, he floats in the air, presenting a turkey; in the fourth, he hovers in a field of flowers, offering incense. The four trees represent the four cardinal directions or levels of the cosmos: the underworld, the earth, the sky, and the afterlife.

In the final scene, the Maya maize god stands in front of a fifth world tree, establishing the center of the universe. The bird deity lies slain at the bottom of the tree, dispatched for his arrogance and vanity. The maize god crowns himself king, wearing a headdress made from the body of the bird. The wooden scaffold upon which he sits is the same throne depicted in the coronation of Maya kings for centuries, Taube says.

Another series of murals depicts the life cycle of the maize god-his birth in water, his emergence from the earth bearing the harvest, his death represented by diving back into the water, and his resurrection and second coronation. "The whole narrative leads to the coronation of a named individual," Saturno says, establishing the maize god as the foundation of Maya kingship. "
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