Lady Yohl Ik’ nal was the 1st recorded female ruler of the Mayan city of Palenque and 1st to have a full royal title. Her birthdate is unknown, however, she ascended to the throne on December 23, 583. Her name means “Lady Heart Wind Place.” She most likely was daughter of the previous ruler, Kan Bahlam I, though some say that she was his sister. Her reign was unusual because she held power for 21 years. Women normally only held power temporarily through a son too young to rule. Historians believe that there may have been warfare that eliminated male candidates for rulership. She had a son named Ajen Yohl Mat. It is generally agreed that one of her descendants was K’inich Janaab’ Pakal, one of the Mayans’ greatest rulers. On April 23, 599, she suffered a humiliating defeat against the Calakmul. She also suffered another invasion by the Bonampak at an unknown date. Despite these failures, Lady Yohl Ik’ nal still held onto her power and was treated with veneration throughout her reign. 

 “Lady Yohl Ik'nal - The first female ruler of the Mayans,” History of Royal Women.  Retrieved 5/15/2022,  Lady Yohl Ik'nal - The first female ruler of the Mayans - History of Royal Women
Glyph:  Mały koleżka, 10/11/2015. Permissive Use.  

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