MAIZE GOD. Temple 22, Copan, Honduras, 715.
Corn was the Maya’s most important food, so no god was more important than the Maize God. Over the centuries, artists changed his appearance as he developed from birth (planting) to maturity (humans tending the crop) to death (harvesting). However, his portraits consistently include a long, curved head (like a corncob) with hair adorned by seeds and foliage. This nearly life-size limestone bust is one of twenty Copan temple adornments of the Maize God as a beautiful young man, foliated with corn plant designs growing out of his head. He appears to be singing, swaying and gesturing to unheard music. He is the embodiment of the Mayan sacred narrative of renewal from the dark Underworld. Click image to enlarge.