Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Fash, William Leonard

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Anthropology


Mayas--Costume--History; Costume--Honduras--History; Maya sculpture--Honduras--Copán Site; Indians of Central America--Clothing--Honduras--History


The ancient Maya of Copan left a legacy of human representational sculpture which provides a means of understanding the religious and political organization of their past society. Through the study of costume, it is possible to detect changes in their ritual behavior as punctuated by changes in administration. Through the analysis of the costume on the human figural sculpture from the reigns of the last four rulers of the Yax K'uk' Mo' dynasty, it is possible to correlate thematic shifts in ritual with the political organization of each of these rulers. In addition to the further understanding of ancient Copanec Maya society, a systematic method for the analysis of ritual can be applied to archaeological data. Although it is understood that ritual was an important part of ancient Maya lifeways, it has been difficult to systematically assess because of its abstract nature. Through the analysis of ritual's representation on the public monuments of the ancient Maya rulers of Copan, and the conjunctive integration of epigraphic, ethnohistoric and archaeological data, it is possible to interpret thematic shifts in past ritual behavior.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 117-135)


xi, 169 pages, 1 folded page of plates




Northern Illinois University

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