Bʼalaj Chan Kʼawiil

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Bʼalaj Chan Kʼawiil
BornOctober 15, 625
Other namesRuler 1, Flint Sky God K and Malah Chan Kʼawil
TitleKing of Dos Pilas
SuccessorItzamnaaj Bʼalam
Spouse(s)Lady of Itzan
Lady Buluʼ
ChildrenItzamnaaj Bʼalam
Itzamnaaj Kʼawiil
Wak Chanil Ajaw
Parent(s)Tikal king
RelativesKʼakʼ Tiliw Chan Chaak (likely grandson)

Bʼalaj Chan Kʼawiil[pronunciation?] (October 15, 625 – ??) was a Maya ruler of Dos Pilas. He is also known as Ruler 1, Flint Sky God K and Malah Chan Kʼawil.


He claimed to be a member of the Tikal royal line. On Dos Pilas Panel 6 he names a king of Tikal as his father, this was probably the 23rd or 24th ruler of Tikal. He probably saw himself as the legitimate heir to the Tikal throne and defected from Tikal in AD 648 to found Dos Pilas as a rival kingdom under the overlordship of Calakmul.[1]

Bʼalaj Chan Kʼawiil began his program of monumental inscriptions in 682, recording his travails and ultimate victory.

Mystery cloaks the circumstances under which Bʼalaj Chan Kʼawiil became the first known ruler of a previously uninhabited site in the Petexbatún. Inscriptions at Dos Pilas make it clear that he eventually swore allegiance to Calakmul, and this during the time of Tikal's Hiatus when Calakmul might well have involved itself directly in the royal succession at Tikal. This led to speculation that Bʼalaj Chan Kʼawiil might have been a ruler of Tikal under the aegis of Calakmul who was driven out by a rival lineage.[2]


Bʼalaj Chan Kʼawiil had two wives: Lady of Itzan and Lady Buluʼ.

A daughter of Bʼalaj Chan Kʼawiil, Wak Chanil Ajaw, left Dos Pilas to found a dynasty at Naranjo.[3] Another daughter (or perhaps a sister) married into the royal lineage of Arroyo de Piedra.

Bʼalaj Chan Kʼawiil was a father of Itzamnaaj Bʼalam and Itzamnaaj Kʼawiil and likely a grandfather of Kʼakʼ Tiliw Chan Chaak.

In art[edit]

Dos Pilas Stela 9, dated to AD 682, bears the only known portrait of this king.[1]


  1. ^ a b Martin & Grube 2000, p. 56.
  2. ^ Bajlaj Chan Kʼawiil at Mesoweb.
  3. ^ Martin & Grube 2000, pp. 57, 74.


Martin, Simon; Nikolai Grube (2000). Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens: Deciphering the Dynasties of the Ancient Maya. London and New York: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05103-8. OCLC 47358325.