Ajaw

Ajaw or Ahau ('Lord') is (a) a political title attested from the epigraphic inscriptions of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization; and (b) the designation of the concluding, 20th named day of the divinatory calendar (tzolk'in), on which a king's k'atun-ending rituals used to fall.

Ajaw, with a meaning variously rendered as "lord", "ruler", "king" or "leader", denoted any of the leading class of nobles in a particular polity and was not limited to a single individual. Since the ajaw performed religious activities, it also designated a member of the Maya priesthood. The variant kuhul ajaw ("divine lord") indicates a sovereign leader of a polity, although the extent of the territory and influence controlled by an ajaw varied considerably, and could also be applied to persons who in theory recognised the overlordship of another person, dynasty or state. The title was also given to women, though generally prefixed with the sign Ix ("woman") to indicate their gender.

The word comes from the Mayan languages, and is known from several of these languages in use at the time (such as in Classic Maya), as well as in their contemporary descendant languages (in which there may be observed some slight variations). "Ajaw" is the modernised orthography in the standard revision of Mayan orthography, put forward in 1994 by the Guatemalan Academia de Lenguas Mayas, and now widely adopted by Mayanist scholars. Before this standardisation, it was more commonly written as "Ahau", following the orthography of 16th-century Yucatec Maya in Spanish transcriptions (now Yukatek in the modernised style). In the Maya hieroglyphics writing system, the representation of the word ajaw could be as either a logogram, or spelled-out syllabically. In either case quite a few glyphic variants are known. Not surprisingly, a picture of the king sometimes substitutes for the more abstract day sign.

Other articles related to "ajaw":

Caracol - Monument Chronology
495 9.3.0.0.0 2 Ajaw Altar 4 A.D. 514 9.4.0.0.0 13 Ajaw Altar 7 Stela 13 A.D. 534 9.5.0.0.0 11 Ajaw Altars 3, 14 ?? Stela 16 A.D ...
Jolja' - Overview
... The Ajaw sign appears above two of the figures depicted in the mural ... Dates include Ajaw 3 Sak (December 14, 297 CE), Ajaw 18 Yaxk'in (October 8, 310 CE), and Ajaw 3 Muwan (February 1, 426 CE) ...
Maya Dance - Bibliography
... Sites Stelae Textiles Trade Society Childhood Gender Women Midwifery Death rituals Social classes Ajaw Priesthood Sacrifice Households Calendar Ajaw Baktun Haab ...
Maya Social Classes - Social Classes - Ajaw
... The ajaw had many different types of duties ... Through examinations of the candidates at the beginning of the new k'atun, the ajaw was able to get rid of any person who was considered to be a pretender or who applied falsely ... Both the batabob and the ajaw were usually positions of patrilineal inheritance and genealogy ...