Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Jeffrey B. Glover, PhD

Second Advisor

Dominique Rissolo, PhD

Third Advisor

Nicola Sharratt, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Louis A. Ruprecht Jr., PhD

Fifth Advisor

Brent K.S. Woodfill, PhD

Abstract

Originating in Mayapan in the Late Postclassic Period (AD 1100- AD 1500) Chen Mul Modeled effigy censers quickly spread throughout the northern part of the Yucatán Peninsula. The part moldmade and part modeled production process created a large assortment of Maya gods readily available for assembly. Ongoing research in Quintana Roo has found several Chen Mul censers in cave shrines and altars. Caves in the Maya region have long been associated with religious rituals and activities. Chen Mul censers found in cave shrines and alters indicate what rituals took place based on the Maya god they were modeled after. Notably, Chaak has been discovered in cave shrines, and his presence points to the extreme importance of rain rituals in the Yucatán Peninsula. However, the presence of other gods expands our understanding of the ritual practices taking place in these sacred, subterranean places. This thesis explores this expansion of ritual practices.

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