Maya vision serpent. Copyright 2008 Miguel Omaña.

Maya Vision Serpent

Text and artwork by Miguel Omaña.

Maya mystical vision serpent. Charcoal and color pencil on paper. 8 x 10.

The venerated serpent, drawn under ancient Maya canons as being part of the Tree of the World.

I was captivated how beautifully the Maya of old rendered the Vision Serpent because of the movement and the elegant strokes that gave way to the barroqueness, characteristic in Maya art and written symbols. So I wanted to follow the steps of the ancients by recreating this great work of art. This snake is actually part of a tree, and hence it looks like a branch. Other branches include other forces (known in Academia and History Channel as “gods”) such as K’awiil and Maize itself.

Vision serpents were summoned by the Maya to have ancestors manifest themselves to either witness or sanction.

In ancient times this vision snake was invoked by ahawob (rulers) and priests in sacred rituals within temples or at the top of them. This was done in order open a channel to contact the ancestors. The revered ancestors would then manifest in this world only through this vision snake. In imagery from Yaxchilan the vision serpent is represented as a tunnel-like conduit floating in the air. They will pop out of the mouth of the snake. In many cases, it was done so the spirit of the beloved deceased would be able to witness or sanction a specific event or festivity.

For more of my art you may want to visit

Maya vision serpent. Copyright 2008 Miguel Omaña. Maya vision serpent. Copyright 2008 Miguel Omaña.


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