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K'an Joy Chitam I

K'AN-na-JOY[CHITAM]-ma, "Precious/Yellow Tied Peccary". Drawing, transcription and translation after Martin and Grube (2008).


Maya ruler of Palenque; also known as Hok, Kan Xul I and K'an Hok' Chitam I. Reigned AD 529-565.

Born 9.2.15.3.8, 12 Lamat 6 Wo (May 3, 490).

Acceded: 9.4.14.10.4, 5 K'an 12 K'ayab (February 6, 529).

Died: 9.6.11.0.16, 7 Kib 4 K'ayab (February 6, 565).

This king's rulership seems to have begun in troubled times for the Palenque kingdom; although he had long since come of age when his predecessor died, he did not accede until four years later, when he was thirty-nine (Martin and Grube 2008:158).

K'an Joy Chitam's heir apparency seems to have been established when he was but five-and-a-half years old, when he received a junior title in a ceremony at Toktahn in AD 496 (ibid.:158). This was six years after the "dedication" of Lakam Ha', suggesting that court functions still took place at the earlier royal seat (ibid.:158).

The foregoing is based on Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens by Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube (2008:158). Their sources include David Stuart (personal communication 1998) for the "toothache bundle" in this ruler's name glyphs reading hoy/joy.


K'an Joy Chitam's long life (74 years) and long reign (36 years), together with achievements unknown to us, seem to have earned him the high regard of his successors. He is mentioned in the inscriptions of K'inich Janaab Pakal I, K'inich Kan Bahlam II and K'inich Ahkal Mo' Nahb III (in the recently discovered texts of Temples XIX and XXI).

For a further discussion of this ruler at Mesoweb see The Rulers of Palenque.