Warrior. Ruler. Holy Snake Lord. Getting to know Lady K’abel

Deep in the rain forest of northern Guatemala, in the ancient Mayan city of El Perú-Waka, sits the newly discovered burial site of Lady K’abel, a 7th century warrior queen.

The royal family, a.k.a. the imperial house of the Snake King, made her the military governor of their kingdom. She outranked her husband, the king. And don’t let her dainty title fool you. Lady Waterlily-Hand, Princess of Calakmul, was the most powerful person in Waka in her lifetime. Here are a few other reasons why she’s special.

  • Don’t eff with her. She held the title Kaloomte (Supreme Warrior). This title was usually given to men and rarely associated with Mayan women.
  • All hail the queen. K’abel was considered the greatest ruler of the Late Classic Maya period. She and her husband reigned for about 20 years between 672-692 AD.
  • An elite few. There are only five maya tombs in Classic Mayan history where the person buried in the tomb is known. Lady K’abel’s is now one of them.
  • Fire altar. An older female sacrifice. Ceramic vessels. Jade jewelry. Obsidian blades. A small alabaster jar with her portrait and name on it. She was buried with 1600 artifacts. Some of these were in shrines that covered her royal tomb. Some were buried with her. Here’s the full archeological report.
  • Accessories go way back. She was buried with a large, spiny red oyster shell on her lower torso. Queens of her era wore these as a clothing ornament.
  • She’s a beauty. In the Cleveland Art Museum there is a famous free standing stone carving depicting a portrait of Lady K’abel.

So, what’s the takeaway here? We’re going with: Don’t ever be discouraged by a disparaging ass person who dismisses women in politics or other powerful roles. There’s a little Lady K’abel in all of us just waiting to lead. Remember her the next time you tap into your female-warrior side and see how far you can go.


P.S. 2013 will be here soon. Perhaps it’ll be the year you upgrade your birth control to a more effective method.

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