Link to enlarge image K5741 © Justin Kerr Charles Zidar

Family:  Iguanidae
Genus:  Iguana
Species:  iguana
Authority:  Linnaeus, 1758
Common Name:  Green Iguana
Maya Name:  Ya'ax ikil, T'ool
Faunal Type:  Reptile/Amphibian
Depictions:  Polychrome Ceramics
Significance:  An old Maya belief states that four iguanas made the walls of a house (na), each associated with a different (cardinal) direction and color. Their tails came together to form the ceiling of the house. This was called Itzamna or Iguana House (Thompson 1970). The Maya may have eaten the meat and eggs of the iguana providing vitamin A, calcium and needed calories (Pohl 1990). Iguana fat may have been used as medicine. The Maya may have also sacrificed iguanas as offerings to their gods.
Notes:  Lizard
Photos:  Click on an image below for high resolution comparison.

Other Faunal Photos:   Additional views of the faunal species, click on a photo below to view larger image.
Artifact Photo(s) Courtesy of Justin Kerr (FAMSI); Animal Photo(s) Courtesy of Wikipedia GNU General Public License Version 1.2, November 2002; Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0/2.5 License(s).

Previous Page |  Introductory Page

Return to top of page