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Ballgame Palma

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

Date: ca. 600-900
Medium: volcanic stone
Overall: 9 3/8 x 4 7/8 x 5 1/8 in. (23.8 x 12.4 x 13 cm)
Classification: Art Works
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Allan A. Kaplan
Object number: 85.0065
DescriptionThe palma is one of three types of stone sculpture associated with the Maya ballgame. It generally has a thick triangular base and is notched at one end. The use of the palma is uncertain, but figurines of ballplayers in full regalia show the palma placed on an edge of the yoke. It is also possible that it served as a moveable marker during the ballgame. This example has been decorated with a King Vulture which links it to the iconography of Costa Rica. The palma is a development of Late Classic Veracruz which is seldom found outside of the region.
Not on view