Rulers and Elites

Court Figures at Bonampak. Below: A panoramic view of the brilliant murals covering the walls and vaults of Room 1, Building 1, at Bonampak, Chiapas, Mexico.

Court Figures detail from brilliant murals covering the walls and vaults of Room 1, Building 1, at Bonampak, Chiapas, Mexico.

Rulers and other members of the elite class surrounded themselves with symbols that reflected their enhanced status-elaborate costumes, special foods, and ritual objects reserved for the exclusive use of the ruling class. Some of these have been recovered archaeologically; others are known from scenes painted on ceramic vessels and wall murals, carved on stone monuments, or described in the few surviving texts.

Professor Mary Ellen Miller of Yale University and archaeological artist Heather Hurst have generously allowed their brilliant scale reproductions of these murals to be used in this exhibition.