Freedom8 Mesoamerica


lies south of Uxmal, and connected to the larger city by a sacbe, or Mayan road. While almost certainly subordinate to its northern neighbor, Kabah was nonetheless an important location in its own right, and greets todays visitors with its own ambiance.The best known structure is the Palace of the Mask, an imposing building used for religious rituals and other state ceremonies. Its terrace contains extensive hieroglyphic text behind an alter that may well have been used for human sacrific. Carved panels, door jams and lintels make this a breathtaking example of the incredibly advanced and complex Mayan stone carving art.
The people of Kabah grew crops, participating in the great Mayan trade routes, and kept a wary eye to the north. The relationship between the smaller cities and the larger ones could change dramatically with the ascention of a new ruler in either location. A benevolent protector might be succeeded by a ruthless tyrant, eager to accrue greater glory by capturing slaves and increasing his dominance. A willing subject king might be succeeded by a ambitious rebel, eager to gain fame by freeing his city from the dominance of a powerful neighbor. The succession of a new ruler was a major event in the Mayan world, one can imagin that spies from many near-by city-states were among the throngs gathered to watch the rituals and pageantry that marked the beginning of a new reign.

Today, Kabah sits silently, its days of intrigue and influence faded into the depths of history. But the visitor willing to sit amoung the ruins, to cast an inquisitive eye over the glyphs and carvings and to picture the color and life of a past millennium will be well rewarded by this compelling reminder of an ancient age.