Lady Eveningstar

Lady Eveningstar or Lady Ikʼ Skull[pronunciation?] (704-751), was a Maya queen and possible regent, wife of Itzamnaaj Bʼalam II, a Maya king of Yaxchilan. Their son, Yaxun Bʼalam IV - "Bird Jaguar", succeeded his father as king. She was possibly a regent for a period.

Lady Eveningstar
(Lady Ikʼ Skull)
Yaxchilan Stela 35.jpg
Lady Eveningstar's portrait on Stela 35
Queen of Yaxchilán
(as possible regent for her son)
Born1 September 704
Died751(751-00-00) (aged 46–47)
SpouseItzamnaaj Bahlam III, King of Yaxchilán
IssueYaxun Bahlam IV, King of Yaxchilán
HouseSnake dynasty
FatherYuknoom Tookʼ Kʼawiil, King of Calakmul (possibly)
MotherLady of Stela 54 of Calakmul (possibly)
ReligionMaya religion


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

Although a secondary wife, Lady Ikʼ Skull may have ruled for a short time in Yaxchilan's history until her son Yaxun Bʼalam 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 Bʼiyaan and Lady Ikʼ 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 Lady Xoc's line; however, this is not what happened and nearly ten years after his death it is his son from Lady Ikʼ Skull that took 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. The 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 Ikʼ 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 Ikʼ 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.