Photographer's Note

I just came back from a trip to Mexico and Costa Rica and decided to start posting a picture of a place I hadn't heard of before. Bonampak is an ancient Maya site in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, about 30km (20 miles) south of the larger site of Yaxchilan and the border with Guatemala. It is famous for beingthe only Mayan site preserving Mayan paintings, known as the "frescos de Bonampak".

I took this picture in the first of the three rooms, which is dedicated to the introduction of the heir Chaan Muan II. Here I believe we can see people playing some kind of trumpet.

The picture turned out a bit dark because flash is banned to preserve the colors. I increased gamma and contrast, sharpened and added a frame.

"The paintings date from 790 and were made as frescos, with no seams in the plaster indicating that each room was painted in a single session during the short time that the plaster was moist. They show the hand of a master artist with a couple of competent assistants. The three rooms show a series of actual events with great realism. The first shows robing of priests and nobles, a ceremony to mark a child as a noble heir, an orchestra playing wooden trumpets, drums, and other instruments, and nobles conferring in discussion. The second room shows a war scene, with prisoners taken, and then the prisoners, with ritually bleeding fingers, seated before a richly-attired Chaan Muan, the Lord of Bonampak. It is usually presumed that the prisoners are being prepared for human sacrifice, though this is not actually shown in the murals. The third room shows a ceremony with dancers in fine costumes wearing masks of gods, and the ruler and his family stick needles into their tongues in ritual bloodletting. The accompanying hieroglyphic text dates the scene and gives the names of the principal participants."

Source: Wikipedia

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Yvonne Becker (smash2707) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 583 W: 86 N: 686] (3320)
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  • Date Taken: 2006-06-03
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  • Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-S30
  • Exposure: f/2.8, 1/30
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  • Date Submitted: 2006-06-17 18:34
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