Anonymous: Portrait of Lady K'abel of El Perú (A.D.692)

(Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, USA)

A stone relief made by an unknown Maya artist. This stela (a free-standing stone with relief) comes from the Maya city of El Perú (also known as Waka'). The person depicted on this stela is lady K'abel ('lady snake-lord') who was the wife of king K'inich B'ahlam II of El Perú and daughter of the Calakmul king Yuknoom Yich'aak K'ak'. The city-state of El Perú was at first allied with the powerful Maya city-state of Tikal but El Perú changed sides in the 7th century bu allying itself with Tikals archenemy Calakmul. The marriage of lady K'abel and the king of El Perú was used to strengthen its bound with that of Calakmul. Lady K'abel held the title of 'Ix Kaloomte', or "supreme warrior" which gave her a higher social status and higher authority than her husband the king of El Perú (the city of Calakmul was much larger and much more powerful then El Perú so this reflects the status of both cities). This stela shows lady K'abel with a ceremonial headdress of green quetzal feathers, jade jewelry, a ceremonial scepter, a shield and her personal dwarf attendant Pat Tuun Ahk. The stela stood originally next to a portrait of her husband, both stela were created to celebrate a twenty-year period known as a k'atum. In the 8th century Tikal took revenge and conquered El Perú and transformed it into a client state of Tikal. Stela from around A.D. 692