National Geographic : 1922 Feb
122 THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph from the Biologia Centrali-Americana REPRESENTATION OF A BLOOD-LETTING CEREMONY This sculptured panel, now in the British Museum, was originally carved on the under side of a door lintel in one of the temples of the great Maya city of Yaxchilan, in southern Mexico. A priest with a ceremonial staff is shown at the left, supervising a blood-letting ceremony, possibly by a neophyte, who is kneeling at the right. Note the gorgeous details of the priest's costume. The neophyte, scarcely less handsomely garbed, is engaged in drawing blood from himself by passing through a slit in his tongue a long piece of rope with sharp thorns fastened to it. A basin on the ground catches the drops of blood as they fall.