Treasure trove of jade stones used in Mayan rituals discovered in Guatemala

Polished greenstone objects made of jade and serpentine were discovered in Ceibal, Guatemala, dating from about 1000 to 450 BCE. The artefacts are elongated objects called celts, thought to have been used in public ceremonies.

The early years of the Mayan civilisation are relatively poorly understood. Many of the archaeological remains from this time have been buried by those of the later Mayans and by modern developments. A rare find in Ceibal, Guatemala, has led to new insights into the early Mayan culture.

A total of 18 cross-shaped holes in the ground called caches were discovered, with a total of 72 polished greenstone celts. This is the largest single find of celts in the Mayan lowlands dating from the era. Read more.

Taino Greenstone Trigonolitos Depicting a Skull
Origin: Dominican Republic
Circa: 1100 AD to 1500 AD

Among the most abundant of artifacts attributed to the Pre-Columbian indigenous Taíno peoples, who populated the Bahamas, Antilles, and Lesser Antilles, zemi three-pointer stones are revered for their unusual triangulated shape, cone- shaped apex and elaborate patterns. Zemis are often defined as everything which possesses magical powers, including deities and even skeletal remains. In fact, souls of the deceased were also identified as zemis. Although many three-pointers are undecorated, this green stone sculpture is carved with an anthropomorphic image on the anterior and circular, maze-like motifs resembling reptilian coils on the posterior end. These characteristics are indicative of a Type I “wrapped snake” three-pointer, however what is particularly interesting is that most three-pointers that are incised with reptilian coils are often paired with a reptilian face. In this case, the face resembles that of a human with a wide, opened mouth that seems tilted upwards, and large hollowed out eyes. The mouth and nose that are tilted to resemble Type III three- pointers. His chin is also ornamented by the reptilian coils, which extend around the perimeter of his face as well.

This green three-pointer combines human and animal traits, which convey not only an aura of strength but also a trance-like state aroused by a shaman’s hallucinogens. The function of such artefacts is still hotly disputed. Many Taíno scholars conclude that three-pointers were buried as fertility charms in conucos or manioc mounds and even in shrines with other zemis. These figures might also be physical articulations of the Taíno mythological legacy. Yet, there remains much doubt over the use of less intricately decorated three-pointers as fertility charms. Letters written by Christopher Columbus suggest that these stone sculptures were created to fertilize the land and encourage fertility amongst its inhabitants. Today, these sculptures offer a unique insight into the religious lives of the Taino and impress us with the boldness of their design.


Okay I’m sorry but I’m really pissed off with disneys portrayal of Maui in the pictures released of Moana. In every book I have read about Maui he is portrayed like this, with the greenstone necklace etc, but disneys made him have shells/bones?! And a leave skirt? And in every story about him he has facial tattoos, but in the Disney version he has tattoos everywhere else apart from his face? And he’s got curly hair instead of the ponytail, I’m not being rude or anything it’s just that where did Disney get the idea that Maui looked like that, did they not do any research into the legends of Maui and the sun, the giant fish etc?! Disney needs to do its research before they decide to make characters like Maui.


The internet can be a wonderful thing sometimes and has connected me with many people throughout Aotearoa. One valuable connection I have made is with my cousin Tahi Walsh who now lives all the way in Germany. He has been inspiring in his passion and love of all things Māori. He showed me these whakaahua, sourced from the Auckland Heritage Images website and DigiNZ, and made me look closely at their taringa (ears). It is well documented that Māori used aute rolled up and placed in their ears. I can’t help but look at these portraits and imagine that these ribbons were once made from aute?

“By the time British and French explorers reached NZ, the only remaining Maori use of tapa was decorative rolls in mens’ perforated earlobes”

“The ornaments consisted of very small white rolls of tapa cloth thrust through the holes, often with a greenstone pendant hanging below”

Roger Neich - Pacific Tapa 

I would love to make one of these. I think they are called pōhoi. An area I would definitely like to look into more closely.

The Jadefire Festival [Friday through Sunday, April 28th to 30th at 5:00 PM Server]

The Jadefire Festival is soon to begin, and you’re invited! Celebrated in the relative peace of Greenstone Village, the Festival is a weekend-long celebration of the vibrance of spring. Immerse yourself in the colorful legends of Pandaria, starting on the 28th with the story of Hatiss the Demon-Dog, one of the first saurok to rebel against the iron fist of the mogu. On the 29th, relive the tragedy of twin jinyu Xichun and Yingchun, as their love for the same man leads to a feud that would last long into death. Finally, on the 30th, experience the blessing of Yu'lon as the wise Jade Serpent declares spring to be officially sprung!

Aside from the opening and closing ceremonies, each day will leave festival-goers with a good chunk of free time to go where they please and see what they wish. Catch one of the solo acts twice an hour, join in on one of the seasonal activities or just browse the merchants available. The choice is yours!

Children’s Hour

Every day from 5:00 to 6:00 PM, a Children’s Hour will be observed before the festivities get in swing. Throughout the hour, a special trader will sell family-friendly wares for parents to browse, and anybody can challenge the daily pet trainer for tokens. At the end of the hour, the Nearly Departed will be providing babysitters free of charge so older members of the family can enjoy the rest of the night uninterrupted.

See Also:

Children’s Hour

The Day of the Demon-Dog

Even in death, it seems the Demon-Dog is far from through with mischief. Be the hero and fight to stop his designs on the festivities when some of the attendants find their palms a little too sticky for their own good! Challenging them to a duel will surely get you glory, but only defeating them one-on-one will force them to surrender their coveted prizes.

See Also:

Spoils of the Demon-Dog
The Daily Raffle
The Daily Roster

The Day of the Moon

Take a side as Xichun and Yingchun reignite their age-old rivalry. Attendants can choose to champion either sister in a game that is a little chance, a little planning and hopefully all fun! The last champion standing will win the night for every other champion who brandishes his or her lady’s token.

See Also:

Battle of the Twins
The Daily Raffle
The Daily Roster

The Day of the Fires

On the last day of the Festival, an auction will be held featuring a variety of relics from Pandaria that were donated by local collectors. The proceeds from the auction will benefit the restoration of Yu'lon’s statue at the Serpent’s Heart. If bids reach an especially generous threshold, the winners will receive a commemorative work of art of themselves with the lot they won!

See Also:

Pieces of History
The Daily Raffle
The Daily Roster

The Token Trade

Exchange your unwanted materials with our trader throughout the festivities! In return, you will receive tokens that can be used to save money for the duration of not only the Jadefire Festival, but every future event by the Nearly Departed. On the Day of the Demon-Dog, tokens can be exchanged with the other traders for a blanket discount on any and all goods purchased from them. Using tokens in this way costs one token per three percent of discount, up to a maximum of thirty percent. You can do the same in the days following, with the exception of the Souvenirs of Jadefire trader on the Day of the Fires who will accept only tokens. They can also be used in place of gold to purchase raffle tickets and participate in activities with a gold cost.

See Also:

Token Exchange Rates

House Words Wednesdays: House Estermont

Hey everyone!

Welcome to House Words Wednesdays! Each week, I take a House without known canon or semi-canon words and present what I think could make sense as that House’s motto. You’re free to suggest more as well, if your favored House has not yet been suggested; take a look at this link to see what has already been suggested, and shoot me a tweet or ask through Tumblr if you have another House you’d like to see done. 

House Estermont of Greenstone is a noble House of the Stormlands, among the most prominent vassals sworn to Storm’s End. It’s not clear when, exactly, the Estermonts first became a noble House, though the First Men Storm King Erich III Durrandon was the first of his line to claim the island, and Andal invaders overwhelmed Estermont and Tarth first among the Stormlands holdings. Presumably, then, the Estermonts are of mixed First Men-Andal ancestry, and, if they were not once kings themselves, have long served as important vassals of the kings and lords who ruled from Storm’s End. Certainly. Steffon Baratheon (or perhaps his father Ormund, if he arranged the match before he died) thought the Estermonts important enough to take Cassana Estermont for his bride, and Robert was close enough to his Estermont kin to spend a week visiting them some 14 years ago. 

The Estermont sigil is a sea-turtle on pale green, so when thinking of their words I wanted something that reflected that animal. Turtles have long been thought symbols of longevity, in our own world and in Westeros as well. Among the many deities worshiped by the Rhoynar is the Old Man of the River, a gigantic turtle whom the Rhoynar hold sacred as a consort of Mother Rhoyne; the First Turtle War began with the Valyrians butchering one of these colossal animals, and the Shy Maid party actually runs into one in ADWD.

So I settled on Rest Upon Us as the words of House Estermont. In part, I confess, I based these words on Great A’Tuin, the cosmic turtle of the Discworld stories, but I also felt that these words reflected Estermont reliability. The Storm Kings needed a place to dock their fleet; there’s Estermont. Steffon Baratheon needed a marriage with a House that would show that, even though he was a courtier and half-Targaryen, he was still Lord of Storm’s End; there’s House Estermont.  Doran Martell needed a House that would quickly and quietly accept Sylva Santagar and get her out of Dorne; there’s House Estermont. They are a reliable family, there when you need them (at least so far as we’ve seen in the story), and on their backs lords and kings can rest their needs.

Let me know how you feel about these Estermont words. Next week goes to another House in the Narrow Sea, farther to the north and with Valyrian blood in its veins.

The Queen Regent (NFriel)

anonymous asked:

any gem recommendations for a gem based on Kappas?

This is an older ask, but sure thing! Kappas are an interesting yokai, and they are thought to come in the colors of green, yellow, or blue, so it sounds like gems of that color would be fitting~
They are also heavily associated with water and rivers. So gems associated with the water element will also be a nice fit. With that criteria, I think the following gems might be a good possibility:

Isle Royale Greenstone/Chlorastrolite, which is often associated with turtles because of its patterns, is my top suggestion. It’s often found as pebbles on the beach when the rock containing them erodes away, too~ It ranges from dark green to a dark blue-green in color.

Prehnite is a pretty blue yellow-green gem, and while it is not associated with water, it helps you be in tune with the elements and nature.

Azurmalachite is the result of the green to blue-green Malachite and blue Azurite grows together, giving it traits of both the water element of Azurite and the earth element of Malachite.

Chrysocolla is also associated with water. Plus it has markings that can emulate a turtle’s shell.

Turquoise is also associated with water, with the copper veins making neat patterns that resemble the scutes on a turtle’s back.

And lastly, there’s Fossil Coral which is associated with water and also has a nice pattern to it, similar to a turtle’s shell but more rugged.

- Mod Sapphire ❤