National Geographic : 1935 Nov
iN auonai ueograpnic society Painting by H.M.Herget A PENITENT MAYA TORTURES HIMSELF BY DRAWING A BARBED CORD THROUGH HIS TONGUE Here the artist reproduces a famous carved lintel from Yaxchilan, now preserved in the Royal British Museum, London. Self mutilation was aform of devotion among the Mayas. Bloodletting by piercing the ear lobes was common. Worshipers are ascending thesteep steps ofthepyramidal temple in the background. The bloody cord is kept in the carved stone vase.