Makara research

Note: The below “scrapbook research” was combined into this researchpaper on

Other people I still need to read up as they apparently also identified the makara’s.

Pierre Honore
In Search of Quetzalcoatl: The Mysterious Heritage of South American Civilization:
Quest of the white god
Susanna Ekholm?
Gordon F. Ekholm and John Glass, “Archaeology of Northern Mesoamerica,”
Gordon R. Willey
Good link on indian origins of south american civilization.


Image result for makara java

Kala Makara

The cosmic womb with two universal forces.





Belgram Ivories. The winged bird emerging out of the mouths of makara: eruvai ‘eagle’ rebus: eruvai ‘copper’.


Izapa and other sites from the Formative Period.

Michael Coe describes Izapa as being a connective link between the Olmec and the early Maya. He supports his argument with the large amount of Olmec style motifs used in Izapan art, including jaguar motifs, downturned human mouths, St. Andrew’s Cross, flame eyebrows, scrolling skies and clouds, and baby-face figurines. Also used to support Coe’s hypothesis are elements in Maya culture thought to be derived from the Izapans, including similarities in art and architecture styles, continuity between Maya and Izapan monuments, and shared deities.

Other archaeologists argue that there is not yet enough known to support Coe and that the term “Izapan Style” should only be used when describing art from Izapa.

Major publications

  • Coe, Michael D. (1961) La Victoria, An Early Site on the Coast of Guatemala. Papers vol. 53. Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Cambridge.
  • Coe, Michael D. (1962) Mexico. Thames and Hudson, New York. (Four subsequent editions; with Rex Koontz, 2013).
  • Coe, Michael D. (1965) The Jaguar’s Children: Pre-Classic Central Mexico. Museum of Primitive Art, New York.
  • Coe, Michael D. (1966) The Maya. Thames and Hudson, New York. (8th ed. 2011, 9th ed. in press).
  • Coe, Michael D. and Kent V. Flannery (1967) Early Cultures and Human Ecology in South Coastal Guatemala. Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology, Vol. 3, Washington, D. C.
  • Coe, Michael D. (1968) America’s First Civilization: Discovering the Olmec. American Heritage Press, New York.
  • Coe, Michael D. (1973) The Maya Scribe and His World. The Grolier Club, New York.
  • Coe, Michael D. (1978) Lords of the Underworld: Masterpieces of Classic Maya Ceramics. Princeton University Press, Princeton.
  • Coe, Michael D. and Gordon Whittaker (1983) Aztec Sorcerers in 17th Century Mexico: The Treatise on Superstitions by Hernando Ruiz de Alarcón. Institute for Mesoamerican Studies, Albany.
  • Coe, Michael D. (1992) Breaking the Maya Code. Thames and Hudson, New York. (revised ed. 1999)
  • Coe, Michael D. (1995) The Olmec World: Ritual and Rulership. The Art Museum, Princeton University, Princeton.
  • Coe, Michael D. (2003) Angkor and the Khmer Civilization. Thames and Hudson, New York.
  • Coe, Michael D. and Richard A. Diehl (1980) In the Land of the Olmec. 2 vols. University of Texas Press, Austin.
  • Coe, Michael D. and Justin Kerr (1998) The Art of the Maya Scribe. Harry N. Abrams, New York.
  • Coe, Michael D. and Mark Van Stone (2001) Reading the Maya Glyphs (2nd ed. 2005)
  • Coe, Sophie D. and Michael D. Coe (1996) The True History of Chocolate. Thames and Hudson, New York.
  • Coe, Michael D. (2003) Angkor and the Khmer Civilization. Thames and Hudson, New York.
  • Coe, Michael D. (2006) Final Report: An Archaeologist Excavates His Past. Thames and Hudson, New York.



Clearly more Makaras in the Mayan Quiriguá ( , although not as such identified by this researcher who highlighted the Makara, but mislabeled it as a “mythological animal”. He did do a brilliant job in highlighting them in the various stele. I will make a seperate post to this text. Image source and origanal articles here:


A crocodile with Osiris mummy on his back with Isis (left) and a solar disk (above), Isis Temple, Philae Island, Egypt

island of Bigeh , Osiris on the back of a crocodile with vegatation.

However, worship of the god Sobek extended to Thebes and Kom Ombo where there was a dual temple dedicated to Sobek and Horus. The left (northern) side was dedicated to Horus the elder (as opposed to Horus son of Isis) while the right side (southern) was dedicated to Sobek. Each temple has its own entrance, chapels and its own dedicated priests. The temple was constructed during the Ptolemaic period, but there is evidence of an older structure at that location which may date from the New Kingdom. In the temple of Kom Ombo, Horus appears with his wife Tesentefert (the good sister) and his son Panebtawy (the child god) while Sobek appears with Hathor (who is more often considered to be the wife of Horus the elder) and his son Khonsu (usually considered to be the son of Amun and Mut).

The origins of the Maya are from the east. With, a possible later encounter with the west, greece, sumerian, hitite or civilizations from bulgaria, that became the Puquina Elite with the elongated skulls. Like the cambodian pyramids resemble the mayan ones. 3 cambodian pyramid structures and 1 Mayan. This has allways been dismissed as the easiest way to build a tall building. However one would not have dragons/snakes/makaras on the side of the steps as seen in thai temples or, have such a complicated composite creature as the makara, without any cultural interaction or similar origins.

Thai Temple (Wat) Art ” The Makara

Makara Temple Icon Chiang Mai
  • The Makara is another Hindu monster which in Thailand comes from Khmer symbolism. Again this iconic monster can be seen on all ancient Khmer monuments in North east Thailand and Angkor in Cambodia.
  • This is of particular interest because of the mayan resemblance to the khmer temples. These could have been brushed of as the easiest way to build a tall building but that would not explain the exact similar depictions in the aztec calender. That is even to much to state similar age come up with similar images. There is clear and undeniable cultural influence and resemblance.
  • The Makara is also to be found in ancient India and Sri Lanka.
  • The Makara is a mixture of known animals including having claws, a crocodile’s body, the nose of an elephant, scales and a large jaw which is always portrayed devouring the Naga (or disgorging it) on the entrance balustrades lining the entrances on the steps to temple buildings.
  • It is also often seen as water sprouts, where in the west lions are used for this.

Makara at Buddhist Borobudur Temple Java Indonesia


The Makara in Aztec symbolism is identical to Hindu Symbolism.

Various crocodile symbolism. Particularly note the curled snout in mayan symbolism, like the Makara. Also the dual head bird crocodile depiction statue is similar to the sobek/horus statue. Lastly Varuna, who rides the crocodile is similar to the mayan god riding a crocodile.

We also find the plumed dragon symbolism or dragon with vegetation in the UK and Ireland. This symbolism came with crusaders and seafarers from the east.
– Mae’s Howe Dragon
– The apprentice Pillar in Rosslyn (dragons at the bottom with twirls of vegation and pillar symbolism, more on that later)
Kildare Cathedral, the home of St Brigid. It is a rare depiction of a dragon with a sprig of oak coming out of its mouth.

Detail of Karni Mata temple in Deshnoke The Bikaner district in Rajasthan

Not only here the Makara is clearly shown, also in other art. Like the Aztec calender. Mistaken for snakes, it clearly has legs in the front only, just like the Izapa stele. The long snouth is unmistakable. Such specific cultural links can only mean they had contact.

Trans-Pacific Resonances’: Aztec fire serpent from the Sunstone,
Maya carving from Altar A at Copán, Honduras, ‘Makara’ dragon from the ruins of Borobodur, India
Architectural Piece with Makara
Note the figure coming out of the mouth just like Aztec calender. Its related to the hindu creation myth of Manu
The Makara as such is still used in asian art at temples.
Makara-Naga Serpent Images at Wat Suan Dok in Chiang Mai Thailand
Two snakes in front of a temple mount or asociated with a temple mount
is eary similar to the snakes on the pyramid of Chitzen itza.
The “tongue pieces” breath of life, fecundancy or even stuck wrongly to chin. they definately need some further research.
We see them in an other Chichen temple as well

The dragon jewelry you pointed out sure for me is relevant as a background source for the yilan motif. And I find it interesting how much it actually resembles turkmen silver jewelry, which we know is contemporary with the rugs, and in that way indirectly might sustain a cultural/aesthetic connection:

Here is a parallel motif also from Tilla tepe, please note the tails of the beasts (probably the “Makara” which in india is associated with the cintamani) and in thailand

This above is a very important cultural piece. It is a combination of mayan and hindu symbolism and shows a transition with the female godess in between what later became potna Theron /Potna Thea, or mistress of the animals, later lord of the animals
Note the double ended dragon she is standing on and not lions but two makara’s she is holding in her hands. (very similar to stele 25 Izapa complete with bird in the tail.)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tikal frieze – Flood victims

Rescuing victims from a flood – a lost frieze from Tikal. Note volcano erupting.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mayan Royal Double-Headed Serpent Bar

Note the double-headed serpent bar in the headdress.

Ruler holding a double-headed serpent bar – compare to the double-headed makara bar on the throne of the Buddha.

Mayan double-headed serpent bar with profiles of dieties emerging from each mouth. The serpent`s body represents the ecliptic, the heads are sunset and sunrise with the dieties as the setting and rising sun emerging. The 2 “X”s are the equinoxes.Drawing by Linda Schele.

Frederick Catherwood 1844 Stela D, Copan. Ruler holding a double-headed serpent bar.

This particular “Aker” or horizon or ecleptic symbolism comes from egypt and even sumeria.


Buddha with Makaras

Southeast Asia – Buddha with makaras.

Note double-headed serpent bar (makaras) behind the Buddha on his throne. Compare to the Mayan royal double-headed serpent bar.


Emerald Buddhas with Makaras

Emerald Buddhas – Chiang Mai Monastery – makaras on costume.

Gold Buddha figures

Gold Buddha – Thailand, note makaras at his side.
Thailand gold Buddha.


Aztec double-headed serpent in turquoise mosaic. The Mesoamerican artists obtained their turquoise from the Arizona – New Mexico area.

Makara Thorana and Buddha Statues
“Makaras (on each side of the Buddha statues) are amazing creatures: they have eyes of a monkey, trunk of an elephant, tail of a peacock, limbs of a lion, jaws of a crocodile, body of a fish and ears of a hog.”


Mayan figurines with Makaras

Mayan throne with double-headed serpent painted with the famous Maya blue pigment.
Stylized Mayan figurine with makara crocodile-elephants behind his torso. Note hooked nose of makaras.
Mayan priest with makara crocodiles behind his torso.


Candi Mendut, Java

Note makara crocodiles at his shoulders.
Note corbelled arch.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ajanta Caves – India

Ajanta caves – India, note the double-headed “makara” caiman behind the throne of Buddha at his shoulders. (Click on image to enlarge).


Mayan Double-Headed Serpent Bar

Copan, Honduras – ruler holding a ceremonial double-headed serpent bar.
Maya King and the Double-Headed Serpent Bar of Authority”The double-headed Serpent Bar is the iconographic equivalent of the arc of the ecliptic. Most any Maya king featured on carved stone stela will be shown wearing a double-headed serpent pendant or holding up a double-headed serpent bar. Here we see an image of Stela D from the Maya site of Copán, depicting ruler Uaxaclajuun Ub’aah K’awiil (18 Rabbit). The king is shown wearing an elaborate headdress and holding a double-headed serpent bar that represents his divine connection to the sun. The serpents’ heads represent the arc of the ecliptic. The pathway involves the sun and its movement from sunrise to sunset, descending into the underworld each night and emerging from the underworld each morning.”The double-headed serpent bar can also symbolize the cycle of the eclipses of the sun and moon when they are swallowed up by the serpent and then reappear.Compare the double-headed serpent bar to the Buddhist throne below. There is often a double-headed caiman bar behing the seat of the Buddha.

The Kuna of Panama

“Children of the Moon” – the blonde Kuna of Panama.
Kuna Indian tribe of Panama.

Piedras Negras

The king of Piedras Negras.

Warrior Mural from Cacaxtla

Artist`s copy of the Cacaxtla mural.


El Mirador

Mural of the world`s largest pyramid at El Mirador.
La Danta pyramid at El Mirador, note the size of the figure standing on the top.
Mayan creation myth mural at El Mirador. This stucco bas-relief mural depicts the hero twins from the Popul-Vuh. It was discovered within a pyramid that had been built over the original structure.

The largest pyramid in the world at El Mirador.
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