Dancing dwarfs and courtly cohorts : an examination of the dwarf motif in Mesoamerican iconography
This thesis explores the dwarf motif in the art of the Classic Period Maya (300-900 A.D.) from significant polities of the Maya Lowlands. Through an iconographic and iconological analysis of Maya dwarf imagery, this thesis examines the principal social roles of dwarfs in both historical and mythological contexts. The importance of dance and ritual performance, specifically as it relates to dwarf imagery, is also a major focus of this analysis. Consideration of dwarfs in this framework will help to understand their place within the royal court, the system of rulership, site interactions, ritual performance, and Maya mythology.