Briefly: bloodletting

From Mike McKinley, who reports that he is currently studying with noted Mayanist David Stuart at Texas – Austin, on the San Bartolo Murals, which he says

have images of men doing bloodletting on their … rather enormous and erect penises. This is very rare in Mayan (or any Mesoamerican pre-contact) art. Though it was commonly done, it was NOT shown. This is almost Mapplethorpian to my eyes.

Well, certainly, wildly kinky, at least to modern eyes. A sample (read the images from right to left):

These Mayan murals tell stories in a series of images and so serve as precursors of the graphic novel (some discussion here).

2 Responses to “Briefly: bloodletting”

  1. Bob Richmond Says:

    Here’s a lot more detail, with information on how the murals were photographed:
    http://www.mesoweb.com/articles/Saturno.pdf

  2. Mike Says:

    My prof was there at the excavation of this site. The murals are stunning by any metric. My favorite part is the noted “Exploding Gourd” that is shown hurling forth infants during the Creation. Marvelous stuff and great stories of exploration. They were found in 2001 and not excavated until 2003. And they were only found because looters had dug a tunnel bypassing the murals in search of royal tombs. They left the murals as it’s hard to remove and sell big pieces of wall.

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