K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo

Definition

Yax K'uk' Mo' (pronounced `Yash Kook Mo') was the founder and first king of the dynasty that ruled the Maya city of Copan (in modern day Honduras) for 350 years. Known formally by his royal name, K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo', he reigned for eleven years from 426-437 CE. His name is translated as `Radiant First Quetzal Macaw' or `Sun-Eyed Green Macaw' or even `Sun In The Mouth of the Quetzal Bird'. The many interpretations of his name are reflected in the various theories regarding his origins. He was not native to Copan, and scholars speculate that he may have come from Teotihuacán, from Tikal or Caracol, or from some other region entirely. All that is clearly known is that a man named K'uk Mo' Ajaw emerged from some locale distant from Copan in 416 CE, took part in some kind of military action, and became king in 426 CE.

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Timeline

  • 250 CE - 950 CE
    The Classic Maya Period which saw the height of the Maya Civilization in cities such as Chichen Itza, Palenque, Tikal, Copan and Uxmal.
  • 426 CE - 437 CE
    Reign of the first named Copan ruler K'inich Yax K'uk Mo.
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