Yohl Ik'nal

Yohl Ik'nal

Yohl Ik'nal
Queen of Palenque
Yohl Ik'nal's glyph
Reign December 23, 583 – November 4, 604
Predecessor Kan Bahlam I
Successor Ajen Yohl Mat
Died November 4, 604
Issue Ajen Yohl Mat?
Janahb Pakal?
Religion Maya religion

Yohl Ikʻnal[N 1] (Mayan pronunciation: ), also known as Lady Kan Ik and Lady K'anal Ik'nal, (died November 4, 604) was queen of the Maya city-state of Palenque. She acceded to the throne on December 23, 583 and ruled until her death.[N 2][1]


  • Family 1
  • Reign 2
  • Notes 3
  • Footnotes 4
  • References 5


Yohl Ikʻnal was a grandmother or great-grandmother of K'inich Janaab Pakal I, Palenqueʻs greatest king.[2] She was a descendent of K'uk' Bahlam I, the founder of the Palenque dynasty and she came to power within a year of the death of her predecessor, Kan Bahlam I.[3]

K'inich Janaab Pakal I, grandson or great-grandson of Yohl Ik'nal

She was the first female ruler in recorded Maya history and was one of a very few female rulers known from Maya history to have borne a full royal title.[4] She must have come to the throne due to extremely unusual circumstances, the details of which have not survived.[5] She was the one of two woman to have ruled Palenque, second was her daughter or granddaughter Sak K'uk' and was likely to have been either the sister or, more likely, the daughter of Kan Bahlam, who left no male heir. Her husband or her son was Janahb Pakal.[6]


During the reign of Yohl Ik'nal, Palenque suffered an important defeat by Calakmul, one of the two great Maya powers of the Classic Period.[7] The battle took place on April 23, 599 but Yohl Ikʻnal reigned for several years more and died in 604.[8] After the defeat, Palenque apparently maintained its political identity but Yohl Ik'nal probably had to pay tribute to the ajaw of Calakmul.[9] There are indications that either Yohl Ik'nal or her successor successfully rebelled against Calakmulʻs dominance before 611.[10]

Archaeologist Merle Greene Robertson has suggested that a vaulted tomb under Temple 20 at Palenque is that of Queen Yohl Ik'nal.[7] She was considered important enough to be depicted twice on the sarcophagus of her grandson or great-grandson K'inich Janaab Pakal I and to be sculpted in stucco on the wall of his tomb.[11]

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Kan Bahlam I
Queen of Palenque
December 23, 583 – November 4, 604
Succeeded by
Ajen Yohl Mat


  1. ^ The ruler's name, when transcribed is IX-(Y)O:L-la IK'-NAL-la, translated "Lady Heart of the Wind Place".
  2. ^ These are the dates indicated on the Maya inscriptions in Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, Acceded: 9 Lamat 1 Muwan and Died: 2 Eb 20 Keh.


  1. ^ Stuart & Stuart 2008, pp.139-142. Sharer & Traxler 2006, p.459. Skidmore 2010, p.39.
  2. ^ Skidmore 2010, pp.56-57. Webster 2002, p.132.
  3. ^ Stuart & Stuart 2008, p.139. Drew 1999, p. 264.
  4. ^ Stuart & Stuart 2008, p.139. Martin & Grube 2000, p.159. Drew 1999, p.264.
  5. ^ Stuart & Stuart 2008, p. 139.
  6. ^ Stuart & Stuart 2008, p.238. Martin & Grube 2000, p.159. Skidmore 2010, pp.56-57.
  7. ^ a b Stuart & Stuart 2008, p.140.
  8. ^ Stuart & Stuart 2008, pp.140-142.
  9. ^ Stuart & Stuart 2008, p. 142.
  10. ^ Stuart & Stuart 2008, p.144.
  11. ^ Stuart & Stuart 2008, pp.177, 180. Skidmore 2010, pp.56-57.


Skidmore, Joel (2010). The Rulers of Palenque (PDF) (Fifth ed.). Mesoweb Publications. p. 39. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
Webster, David L. (2002). The Fall of the Ancient Maya: Solving the Mystery of the Maya Collapse. London: