Armed with a shield, this Maya goddess appears as a fearsome warrior. Her snarling mouth and jaguar ears, which are attached to hair bound with ribbons, conveyed a sense of dread among her enemies. Known in later times as Chak Chel (Great Rainbow), she was a patron of midwives. Although the portrayal of Chak Chel as a warrior is unusual in Maya art, her cognate among contemporaneous Mesoamerican peoples was a military commander who led her own armies to battle. On occasion, her "weapon" is depicted as a weaving batten, which may be what this figurine once held in her empty right hand. Alternatively, she may have held an ax, as known from other examples.
Princeton University Art Museum: Handbook of the Collections (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Art Museum, 2013).
Richard Schlagman and Phaidon Press, The Art Museum (London; New York: Phaidon Press Inc., 2011).
Edwin M. H. Braakhuis, "Jaguar Slayer and Stone Trap Man: A Tzotzil Myth Reconsidered," in The Maya and their Sacred Narratives: Text and Context in Maya Mythologies, ed. Genevieve Le Fort, Raphael Gariol, Sepastian Matteo and Christophe Helmke (Markt Schwaben: Verlag Anton Saurwein, 2009): 141-148.
Princeton University Art Museum: Handbook of the Collection (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007).
Barbara Tedlok, The Woman in the Shaman's Body: reclaiming the feminine in religion and medicine (New York: Bantam Books, 2005).
Mary E. Miller, "Rethinking Jaina: Goddesses, Skirts, and the Jolly Roger," Record of the Princeton University Art Museum 64 (2005): 63–70.
Michael D. Coe, The Maya, 7th Edition (London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 2005).
Mary E. Miller and Simon Martin, Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya (San Francisco: Fine Arts Museum of San Fransisco, 2004).
Linda Schele, Hidden Faces of the Maya (Poway: ALTI Publishing, 1997).
Allen Rosenbaum and Francis F. Jones, Selections from The Art Museum, Princeton University, (Princeton, NJ: The Art Museum, Princeton University, 1986).
Arne Eggebrecht, Glanz und Untergang des Alten Mexiko: Die Azteken und ihre Vorläufer (Mainz: Verlag Phillip von Zabern, 1986).
Gérald Berjonneau, Emile Deletaille, and Jean-Louis Sonnery, Art précolombien Mexique, Guatemala (Paris: Editions Arts 135, 1985).
Mary Ellen Miller, Jaina Figurines: A Study of Maya Iconography (Princeton: The Princeton University Art Museum, 1975).
Howard La Fay, “The Maya, Children of Time,” National Geographic 148, no. 6 (Dec 1975): 729-766.
"Acquisitions 1965 and 1966," Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University 26, no. 1 (1967): p. 2, 19-32.
"F. Vinton Lawrence, Jr. '26 Gallery of Pre-Columbian and Native Arts given by his brother, James F. Lawrence, Class of 1929," Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University 25, no. 1/2 (1966): 49.
"3000 Years of Pre-Columbian Art", Bulletin (Kalamazoo Institute of Arts) no. 14 (Dec., 1964).
States of Health: Visualizing Illness and Healing Saturday, November 2, 2019 - Sunday, February 2, 2020
Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya (April 4, 2004–January 2, 2005)
Jaina Figurines: A Study of Maya Iconography (Saturday, May 03, 1975 - Sunday, June 29, 1975)
3000 Years of Pre-Columbian Art (December 3, 1964 - January 3, 1965)