A five-pound jade head pendant has been found at Ucanal, an archaeological site in what was once the Maya city of K’anwitznal.
The massive jade pendant, the heaviest of its kind ever found, once hung off of the belt of a Maya elite while he danced. It is believed that this is just one of many pieces of jewelry he would wear during ritual dances. This Maya elite, like many others, would dance with 25 pounds hanging off of his body.
The jade head pendant is more than just a piece of jewelry. It’s a fascinating new insight into the grueling and brutal rituals of Maya dances. It’s a sign of just how mercilessly Maya elites would weigh themselves down before dancing, and it’s opened up a new insight into the significance of Maya jewelry.