Chess pieces

Carlos Reyes-Manzo2000s



The green and black jade chess pieces are designed after mythological and historical themes of the Maya. The king, portrayed as the maize god Ixiim, is modelled on a bust of the god that resides in a temple complex at the Copán archaeological site in Honduras. The motif chosen for the queen is the moon goddess Ix Uh, accompanied by a rabbit symbolising the moon. Further representations of significant animals from the mythology can be found in the pawns, which take the form of monkeys, and in the jaguar-like knights. The rook figures are inspired by the characteristic stepped pyramids of the ancient Mayan city of Tikal in northern Guatemala. The bishops recall the important Central American culture of the Olmec, which was at its height between 1200 and 300 BC.

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  • Title: Chess pieces
  • Creator: Carlos Reyes
  • Date Created: 2000s
  • Type: Boardgame
  • Publisher: Museum of Ethnology Hamburg
  • Rights: Museum of Ethnology Hamburg | Photo: Paul Schimweg
  • External Link: Homepage Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg
  • Medium: jade, wood
  • on display: Heart of the Mayans
  • Date of Acquisition: 2009
  • Context of Origin: San Pedro las Huertas, Guatemala
  • Collection: Coll. Bernd Schmelz