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Wisdom and Power of the Mayan Rulers – The Mayan Civilization

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The Maya city of Copán was governed by 16 individuals who, over a batkun (400 years), maintained a lineage from its foundation to its collapse. This assertion has been evidenced through research by epigraphists, who, after more than 50 years of study, have deciphered Altar Q. According to their interpretations, the first figure corresponds to its founder Kinich Yax Kuk Mo, or Lord Quetzal Guacamayo, who ruled from 426 to 435 AD.

The second in the dynastic order is known as Petate en la Cabeza, starting from 435 AD, believed to be the son of the founder. The third is unknown and ruled until 485 AD, the fourth was Culx, from 485 to 495 AD, the fifth and sixth are unknown. The seventh, named Nenúfar Jaguar, ruled from 504 to 544 AD. The eighth is unknown, and the ninth is known to have ascended to the throne in 551 AD. These two are supposedly the sons of the seventh ruler.

The tenth ruler was known as Luna Jaguar and his reign lasted from 553 to 578 AD. The eleventh, Butz Chan, Humo Cielo, or Humo Serpiente, ruled between 578 and 628 AD. The twelfth, Humo Jaguar, ruled from 628 to 695 AD. The thirteenth, 18 Conejo, ruled from 695 to 738 AD. The fourteenth, Humo Mono, known as the timid king, ruled from 738 to 749 AD. The fifteenth, Humo Caracol, began his reign in 749 AD, being the son of the previous ruler. The last ruler in the dynasty was Yax Pak or Madrugada.

Among the main buildings are Temple 16, dedicated to the founder of the lineage Kinich Yax Kuk Mo, or Lord Quetzal Guacamayo, and inside of which is the Rosalila Temple dedicated to the ancestors; the Hieroglyphic Stairway, which is the longest known stone text in the entire American continent; the House of the Community, or Popol Nah; and the ball court, where the ritual allowed for abundant harvests.

The preservation of the Great Plaza and other structures, as well as many decorations and stelae, is credited to the thirteenth ruler, 18 Conejo, as during his reign he prohibited the destruction and burial of the constructions made by subsequent rulers. That is why he was called the “King of the Arts.” Additionally, during his time, Maya artisans stylized the deep relief in sculptures, a technique for which the city is known and renowned.

One of the most valuable sites in Honduras’ heritage is La Mosquitia, which is part of the largest tropical rainforest in Central America. In this rich and vast nation, there are approximately 91 protected areas, national parks, and wildlife refuges, such as Río Plátano, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, Pico Bonito, Cuero y Salado, Cusuco, and Celaque. Other parks include La Tigra, La Muralla, Sierra de Agalta, Santa Bárbara, and Cerro Azul Meámbar. The Caribbean coast boasts over 850 kilometers of pristine beaches. Tela, one of the most beautiful, and La Ceiba are coastal towns.

The Atlantic Coast of Honduras, with its white sand beaches, islands within its bays, and Garifuna communities, offers a valuable tourism product. Roatán, Utila, and Guanaja are some of these islands, which, along with more than 60 islets and cays, make this area a paradise for diving, bird watching, and other water sports.

In Honduras, one can appreciate and enjoy its colonial traditions in towns near the current capital city of Tegucigalpa, in the Municipio Del Distrito Central. These include the old mining town of Santa Lucía, with a beautiful colonial church, and Comayagua, located 80 kilometers from the capital. Among the many beautiful churches, the Cathedral reflects one of the finest examples of colonial art in Honduras (Guatemalan Tourism Institute).

Return to the main article The Maya Civilization