An Introduction to our Gallery

This gallery is dedicated to the study of the Maya and their unique culture that still fascinates generations today. Specifically, our exhibit heightens the viewer’s understanding of the sacredness of cacao in the three realms of the Mayan universe, depicting how symbolism impacts the significance of each object. Both cacao and tobacco played an important role in this civilization, representing all portions of the Mayan life and its values. Using art as a foundation, our gallery illustrates just how intentional each Mayan artist was when creating pieces that stood for a larger theme in their culture. Enjoy this creative perspective of exploring our Mayan exhibits of the three realms and how cacao influenced these pieces!



We would like to thank Marianne Wardle and the Nasher Museum of Art for making this project possible. The access to these objects in the Nasher storage allowed us to delve deeper into the world and history of the Ancient Maya than we could have imagined. We learned about the Ancient Mayans and their iconography by reading words and seeing images on paper, but it was not until we began to study the objects that we really connected with and understood this ancient Mesoamerican culture.