By Dicey Taylor

Originally presented at the Third Palenque Round Table, June 11-18, 1978. Published in Tercera Mesa Redonda de Palenque, edited by Merle Greene Robertson and Donnan Call Jeffers. Online publication: December 2002.

Please note: This paper is presented in digital format for its historical interest. Since its original presentation in 1978, further advances have been made in the field of Mesoamerican studies. The iconographic motif discussed by the author is now generally referred to as the witz monster, as it is thought to represent a personified mountain (witz in Mayan). This article marshals the pictorial and sculptural evidence, summarizes an earlier conception of the motif as linked to the sky, and correctly associates it with the earth.

The Cauac Monster
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