DECEMBER 23, 583


Yohl Ikʼnal, “Lady Heart of the Wind Place,” was a grandmother or great-grandmother of Kʼinich Janaab Pakal I, Palenque’s greatest king.  A descendant of Kʼukʼ Bahlam I, the founder of the Palenque dynasty, she came to power within a year of the death of her predecessor, Kan Bahlam I.  She was the first female ruler in recorded Maya history, one of a very few Maya female rulers to have borne a full royal title, and one of only two women to rule Palenque—the 2nd being Sak Kʼukʼ, either her daughter or granddaughter.  In April 599, Palenque suffered defeat by Calakmul, one of the 2 great Maya powers of the Classic Period.  Yet, Yohl Ikʼnal still reigned for several years more and died November 4, 604—possibly paying tribute to the ajaw of Calakmul.  There are indications that either Yohl Ikʼnal or her successor successfully rebelled against Calakmul before 611.  She was important enough to be depicted twice on the sarcophagus of Kʼinich Janaab Pakal I and to be sculpted in stucco on the wall of his tomb. 

Source:  Skidmore, Joel, The Rulers of Palenque, (Fifth ed.). Mesoweb Publications, 2010.  Retrieved 9/15/2020,
Glyph:  Maly kolezka, 10/11/2015.  Glyph of Maya queen Yohl Ik'nal of Palenque.  Permissive Use.

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