Lady Eveningstar

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Lady Eveningstar
Queen of Yaxchilan
Yaxchilan Stela 35.jpg
Stela 35 inside Structure 21, depicting Lady Eveningstar
Spouse Shield Jaguar
Issue Yaxun B'alam IV
Full name
Lady of Ik' Skull
Born September 1, 704
Died 751

Lady Eveningstar (or Lady Ik' Skull[pronunciation?]) was a Maya queen consort, wife of Itzamnaaj B'alam II, a Mayan king of Yaxchilan. She bore him his son and successor, Yaxun B'alam IV - "Bird Jaguar".


Lady Eveningstar came to Yaxchilan from Calakmul. She was a secondary wife to Shield Jaguar the Great (Itzamnaaj B'alam II).[1]

Although a secondary wife, Lady Ik' Skull may have ruled for a short time in Yaxchilan's history until her son Yaxun B'alam IV was old enough to take the throne.[2] A review of the dynastic history of Yaxchilan during Itzamnaaj Bahlam's reign indicates that he had three wives: his aunt Lady Xoc, Lady Sak B'iyaan and Lady Ik' Skull, with Lady Xoc as the primary wife.[3] Upon the death of Itzamnaaj Bahlam, the right to the throne would traditionally go to his heir through the Lady Xoc's line; however, this is not what happens and nearly ten years after his death it is his son from Lady Ik’ Skull that takes the throne.[4]

There is a great deal of speculation as to why the son of a secondary wife took the throne and did so after the king had been dead for ten years. Current thinking is that the rightful heir through Lady Xook's lineage may have been her son, or perhaps a nephew or brother,[5] but that this individual was captured during a conflict with Dos Pilas in 745.[6] Information regarding this "interregnum" period tends to be conflicting. In their second revised edition Martin and Grube note that at Piedras Negras there is mention of a new king at Yaxchilan, Yopaat Bahlam II, who may have ruled for part or all of this period. However, supporting evidence for this is unknown from Yaxchilan. On the other hand, Josserand notes that Lady Ik' Skull ruled as regent during this time and that it was not until her death that Bird Jaguar IV took the throne.[2]

A monument which refers to Lady Ik' Skull is stela 35.


  1. ^ Martin & Grube 2000:122. Note that in Martin and Grube's 2nd (revised) edition of this work (2008), Itzamnaaj Bahlam's position in the dynastic sequence has changed from that given in the original edition, along with a modification to the orthography for his name (Martin & Grube 2008:122).
  2. ^ a b Josserand 2007[page needed]
  3. ^ Martin & Grube 2008:126
  4. ^ Josserand 2007:299.
  5. ^ As is suggested by Martin and Grube (2008:127).
  6. ^ Josserand 2007:307.
  • Gustafson, Lowell. (1999). Gender Relations and Political Legitimacy: Replacing Patrilineal with Ancestral Inheritance of Power in Ancient Mayan Society.
  • Schele, Linda, & David Freidel. (1990). A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya. New York, New York: William Morrow and Company Inc.