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The upper register in this vase displays a band of pseudo-glyphs or false writing. The pictorial part of this vase shows a character with his body painted black, holding a spear in one hand and a folded flexible shield in the other. He may or may not be related to the deity known to scholars as God M, the merchants' patron, who is also always depicted with a black-painted body.

For the checkered design on the shield, Michel Quenon (personal communication 2007) draws a comparison to the ceramic vessel K638 in Justin Kerr's MayaVase database, which depicts the return of a war party. The figure to the far left holds a spear and a rectangular shield with the same checkered design.

Polychrome vase
Late Classic (600-900 A.D.)
Jaina island, State of Campeche
Clay with red and black pigments
15.6 x 12 (diameter)
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico.

Photo © Jorge Pérez de Lara