Following this paragraph are a number of comments that have been sent to me regarding vase Number K 8342. 

I asked for comments because I felt that this image was rather unusual. This page will remain open and I will continue to add interpretations as they come in. I hope that this will engender dialogue between us all. These comments are posted as received, without editing. If any contributor would like something edited, let me know at:   Links to FAMSI and more

There are a number of other vases that should be studied  where "birds" are touching either the tongue, mouth or other parts of a human body. Links to those vases are posted below. I was particularly intrigued by the possibility that K5615 is a variation on the theme of K8342. A bird is kissing (?) the ruler and in the preceding panel, there is the tree with the Maize God's head in it. Is it possible that the Casper (?) tree (as pointed out by MacDonald), is another version of the "Head in the Tree" ? 

see: K5227  K5615   K5975  K7433

Read the comments of the following contibutors by clicking on their name.:

Luis Barros Lopes
Stanley Guenter
Andrew MacDonald
D. M. Urquidi
Fritz Hunrath
Lon Otto
Karrie Porter-Brace
Antonio Benavides Castillo


From Fritz Hunrath
Subj: 8342
Date: 6/9/2000 6:41:07 PM Eastern Daylight Tim
Fritz Hunrath here, friend of Sandy Noble, we met a few years ago at Austin. Just saw your request for input on 8342. I'm sure this has already been noticed, but here is what I see: The interior of the odd furry thing, three black dots with vertical striped lines, reminds me of the old 'Casper' glyph, seemingly a variant of the ahau glyph. Don't have a Thompson catalogue here to give you the number. The three dots in this figure are repeated in the insect like creature between it and the bird, perhaps suggesting a connection. The base of the 'Casper object' suggests vegetation to me. Have no idea what the 'hair' around 'casper' would be, nor why the bird would seem to be
sticking its tongue out in front of this object, unless it was a 'miss' trying to capture the insect, as frogs do with their tongues. The bird seems a heavy composite of 'one of everything.'
Hope this might help.
Best regards, greetings to Sandy.
Deep thanks for your beautiful images on the web!!!

Fritz here again.. Just hit me... the 'casper' figure... with the
strange base... could it be an octopus???
Fritz Hunrath

From Lon Otto
From:  (Otto, Lon)
One quick thought is that that bird with the upturned beak is Itzam Yeh, the bird of creation (and alternative designation for many of those curly-nosed "Chak" masks).
Lon Otto

From: Karrie Porter-Brace
Subj: Kerr # 8342
Date: 6/9/2000 2:55:49 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: (Karrie Porter-Brace)
Well, Justin, I'm no expert, but the furry creature reminds me of the rabbit of "18 Rabbit" glyphs. He's got the Kan cross in his jowl. I heard a paper at the Mesa Redonda in 1993 where the author proposed that this was
a kinkajou because of the portrayal of a protruding tongue and Kan cross. Kan means "yellow" and the protruding tongue was significant due to the fact that kinkajous have long tongues and a yellow underbelly. I haven't
seen any kinkajous lately but while in Copan I did see kinkajou pelts for sale in that enclosed market by the cinema. Yellow underbelly but of course, no tongue. Note the kan cross in the glyph text over the head of
the bird creature. The object in the outstretched hand also appears in the glyph text further over past the head of the bird.

The thing in the middle is odd but it reminds me of the glyph used in the name or title of of that early Palenque ruler Linda used to call Casper.

The bird's a tough one...It seems to be wearing a black mask with jaguar pelts on his head. You yourself told me that male rulers had the distinct privilege of wearing the pelts. Is this possibly in the text as well?
Right over Casper there is a god's head and I think I can make out a Hun Ah-something, but I'm not quite sure. Has anyone interpreted the texts on these? I was reading Michael Coe's Code book where he mentions his work on ceramic texts.

The bug looks just like a textile motif. I've heard of these things called toads by Chip Morris in weaving patterns, but this one looks like a bug. 
Karrie Porter Brace
Curator of Anthropology
Logan Museum
Beloit College
700 College Street
Beloit, Wisconsin 53511, USA
(608) 363-2119

From Antonio Benavides Castillo
Subj: 8342
Date: 6/11/2000 8:26:27 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From:  (Antonio Benavides Castillo)
Dear Justin:
Maybe it's a good idea to check the Calakmul vases excavated by Carrasco during the past seasons.
I remember some curious birds with human heads, also some rare objects like that with three points inside.
Comparisons could be fruitful.

I. asked where we could see the vases he mentioned and received this replyI found it!
At least one picture of a bird with human head (on a Calakmul vase) has
been published twice:
Arqueología Mexicana no. 40: page 30. (In an article by Ramón Carrasco)
Arqueología Mexicana no. 42: page 29. (In an article by García & Granados).