Yohl Ik'nal, Ix Yohl
Ik'nal or Ol Ik'nal (ruled December 21, 583 - November 7, 604) was a female
ruler of the Mayan city of
Palenque, ruling from
583 to 604, during the
Mesoamerican Classic Period.
means Heart of the Wind Place
and she was the grandmother
of K'inich Janaab' Pakal
Palenque's greatest king. She was a descendent of K'uk' B'alam I
, the founder of the Palenque
dynasty and she came to power within a year of the death of her
predecessor Kan B'alam I
. She was the
first female ruler in recorded Maya history and was one of a very
few female rulers known from Maya history to have borne a full
royal title. She must have come to the throne due to extremely
unusual circumstances, the details of which have not survived. She
was the only woman to have ruled Palenque and was likely to have
been either the sister or, more likely, the daughter of Kan B'alam,
who had left no male heir.
reign of Ix Yohl Ik'nal, Palenque suffered an important defeat by
Calakmul, one of the
two great Maya powers of the Classic Period.
The battle took
place on 23 April 599 but Ix Yohl Ik'nal reigned for several years
more and died in AD 604. After the defeat, Palenque apparently
maintained its political identity but Ix Yohl Ik'nal probably had
to pay tribute to the king of Calakmul. There are indications that
either Ix Yohl Ik'nal or her successor successfully rebelled
against Calakmul's dominance before 611.
Archaeologist Merle Greene
has suggested that a vaulted tomb under Temple XX at
Palenque is that of Queen Ix Yohl Ik'nal. She was considered
important enough to be depicted twice on the sarcophagus of her
grandson K'inich Janaab' Pakal
and to be sculpted in stucco
on the wall of
- Stuart & Stuart 2008, pp.139-142. Sharer & Traxler
- Webster 2002, p.132.
- Stuart & Stuart 2008, p.139. Drew 1999, p.264.
- Stuart & Stuart 2008, p.139. Martin & Grube 2000,
p.159. Drew 1999, p.264.
- Stuart & Stuart 2008, p.139.
- Stuart & Stuart 2008, p.238. Martin & Grube 2000,
- Stuart & Stuart 2008, p.140.
- Stuart & Stuart 2008, pp.140-142.
- Stuart & Stuart 2008, p.142.
- Stuart & Stuart 2008, p.144.
- Stuart & Stuart 2008, pp.177, 180.