Brief History of the WAKA CHAN
Mayan words have changed in form
or meaning since the scribes of the Classic period wrote their texts. The connections between words and concepts of the past
and the present open wonderful bridges between the ancient Maya world and the modern one.
The pathway connecting ancient words, concepts, images, historical
analogs, and their modern counterparts are particularly evident in the striking resemblance between the World Tree,
Waka-Chan, and the modern Christian-Maya cross. The first Europeans who saw the images of Waka-Chan at Palenque called
the buildings housing them the temple of the Cross and the Temple of the Foliated Cross.
Waka-Chan is elaborately decorated with carvings of ancient
trees and reflective mirrors. It was written with the number six prefixed to the phonetic sign ah and the glyph for
"sky," because the sounds of wak, the word for six, and ah means "raised up."
The base of Waka-Chan is a deified offering plate
that holds a cross made from a double-headed serpent. Classic artisans and lords depicted Waka-Chan as a luxuriant maize plant
heavy with ripe ears of corn, often depicted in personified form as the face of the Maize God.