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Ballgame Yoke

Artist/Maker: Maya (archaeological culture) (Mesoamerica)

Date: ca. 600-900
Medium: stone and specular hematite
Overall: 4 5/8 x 13 7/8 x 16 in. (11.7 x 35.2 x 40.6 cm)
Classification: Art Works
Credit Line: Gift of Toby and Robert Stoetzer
Object number: 2004.70.3
DescriptionMaya kings and other high ranking lords played a sporting game in which they wore heavy belts, or yokes, like this one, and hit a solid rubber ball off their thighs, knees, and elbows. The ballgame was played on various forms throughout all of Mesoamerican pre-history and ornate stone yokes are the durable remains of the ubiquity of this game. This example is decorated on both ends with the head of the young Maize Deity and may have been worn for display before or after the game, rather than as field equipment.
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