Collage Contest #3: Mayan Mystery and Insect Space Voyage

in OCD2 years ago

My entry in @georgeboya's Collage Contest #3:

Mayan Mystery: King Yax K’uk’ Mo’

pyramid Gif3.gif
King Yax K’uk’ Mo’ descending the stairs of a Mayan pyramid.

The bird-like image at the top of the pyramid is Quetzalcoatl, an important god in Mesoamerican culture. The statues in front of the pyramid are Mayan warriors. Two suns shine in the sky because the sun was a powerful symbol in Mayan religious belief.
All collage elements are in the public domain, except for the figure with burning eyes on the stairway. This figure is believed to be a statue of King Yax K’uk’ Mo. The picture from which the statue was extracted is credited to DuendeThumb on Wikimedia Commons and is used under a CC 3.0 license.

border 5.jpg

In 426 AD, when Europe was about to enter the Dark Ages, legendary Mayan King Yax K’uk’ Mo’ established the Copan Dynasty in Mesoamerica. The stairs he is descending in the collage are part of a vast complex of ruins in Copan, Honduras. A name familiarly attributed to Yax K’uk’ Mo was Kinich, which translates as “Sun-eyed”.

Important events in Mayan life were determined by the position of heavenly bodies. Particularly important was the movement of Venus. It was from heavenly bodies that Mayan rulers believed they received their authority.

The Mayan calendar and rituals were in sync with celestial events. Among the rituals practiced were human sacrifice and bloodletting, especially bloodletting and self-mutilation by aristocrats. Bloodletting by kings (piercing or actually sacrificing a body part) was seen as a sign of commitment to beliefs.

border 5.jpg

An Aristocratic Woman Drawing a Barbed Rope Through Her Tongue

British Museum2 Maya blood-letting relief.jpg
Image credit: Babel Stone, Public domain.

border 5.jpg

Archeological evidence dates the beginning of ancient Mayan Civilization in about 5000 B.C. It is believed to have ended in the sixteenth century. The Mayan people, and Mayan culture, endure to this day.

The ancient empire encompassed a vast area that stretched across Central America. The dynasty that was founded by King Yax K’uk’ in 426 lasted about four hundred years, through the reigns of sixteen successive rulers. These are represented in an artifact called Altar Q.

border 5.jpg

Altar Q

Altar Q at Copán,Honduras Adalberto Hernandez Vega from Copan Ruinas, Honduras 2.0.jpg

Image credit: Adalberto Hernandez Vega from Copan Ruinas, Honduras Used under CC 2.0 license

border 5.jpg

There's a great video by Nova that goes into detail about the Copan Dynasty. I highly recommend it.

border 5.jpg
border 5.jpg
border 5.jpg

I had so much fun with the contest that I made two collages. Insect Space Voyage is my second collage. If you look closely, some of the insects onboard the ship are gently animated.

border 5.jpg

Insect Space Voyage

insect ship spin 2 gif.gif
border 5.jpg

A few words about insects in space:

They would have a rough time, though not as rough as we would have. They are arthropods, which means they have exoskeletons: This hard exterior offers some short-term resistance to the hazards of space.

Dangers of space: besides a loss of pressure, there would be no available oxygen in space. It seems that oxygen in space likes to cling to stardust, and therefore leaves none for stranded humans (and insects). Insects, and we, need oxygen to live.

Also, there's the issue of "high-energy UV radiation" from the sun, which would be about a thousand times stronger than what we experience on earth.

There is one animal (not on my ship) that would survive in space: the water bear, otherwise known as a tardigrade. Tardigrades have actually been sent to space and have come back fine, especially if they were shielded from the radiation. But even when unshielded, a small percentage of tardigrades came back from space and survived.

Microscopic Image of a Tardigrade

Tardigrade smaller2 Schokraie E, Warnken U, Hotz-Wagenblatt A, Grohme MA, Hengherr S, et al. (2012) 2.5.jpg

Image credit: Schokraie E, Warnken U, Hotz-Wagenblatt A, Grohme MA, Hengherr S, et al. (2012) CC 2.5

Mechanical problem with my collage: the propeller! Propellers don't work in space. The earth's atmosphere slowly disappears as you enter space. Without the atmosphere, there will be no thrust and propellers won't work.

border 5.jpg
border 5.jpg
border 5.jpg

Materials Used and Process of Making the Collages

Mayan Mystery: King Yax K’uk’ Mo’

All the elements from Pixabay, except the king, which is credited in the blog to DuendeThumb on Wikimedia Commons and is used under a CC 3.0 license.

pyramid smaller.jpg warrior small Maya 2 standing_male_warrior,_Jaina,_c._550-950_C.E.,_long-term_loan_to_the_Dayton_Art_Institute Wmpearl public.jpg pyramid for transfer small.jpg pyramid for transfer soldiers small.jpg pyramid for transfer2 soldiers quetzcoatl small.jpg pyramid soldiers small quetzcoatl sun.jpg mayan snake.jpg mayan king small Yax_Kuk_Mo DuendeThumb 3.0.jpg pyramid small king  soldiers small quetzcoatl sun2 dragon king.jpg

After I put all of these together, I added color to the king and made a GIF so the eyes on the king and soldiers would move, the sun radiate and a small jewel on Quetzcoatl's tail sparkle. I did this with a Gimp application

border 5.jpg

Insect Space Voyage

All the elements in this collage came from Pixabay. GIF was made with Gimp applications.

insect night sky small.jpg insect ship small.jpg insect rings2 small.jpg caterpillar small.jpg spider small.jpg
beetles small.jpg insect ship small2.jpg

ship stars2 small caterpillar rings insects.jpg

After I had all the insects on the ship I started playing with the background, and the propeller. I had to add blades to the propeller because the spin was off when I made the GIF. The spiders and caterpillar were given blinking eyes, and the standing beetle was given moving antennae and front legs. There were many, many missteps. Here's one:

insect ship gif.gif

border 5.jpg

Shout out

Thank you, @whatisnew and @borjan for inspiring the insect collage with your wonderful nature posts. Thank you @shaka for the #LMAC contest which gave me practice in making collages. And thank you, @georgeboya for providing another opportunity to have fun with art.

border 5.jpg

Support Our Steemit Community: Vote for Witnesses

fox and squirrel friendsgif.gif

Thank you for reading my blog. Steem on!

border 5.jpg


  1. McGill University
  2. Unesco
  3. Penn Museum
  5. NCBI
  6. Maya Civilization
  7. Live Science: The Maya
  8. Peabody Altar Q
  9. Nova
  10. Diversity Arthropod
  11. Spider and a Fly (This one is sadistic)
  12. Space Human body
  13. Teacher,
  14. New Scientist: Water Bears
  15. Popular Mechanics
  16. Science News
  18. How Things

Hi AG! The detail on the Mayan pyramid is incredible; moving eyes, radiating suns and a tail that sparkles. Interesting information about their beliefs also.
I must say that the insect space voyage was my favorite and I know that doesn't surprise you. Tardigrades sure are unusual and fascinating critters and I will never look at moss and lichen the same ever again. I also love how you made the insects come to life with their moving parts. You added a spider knowing how I feel about them?!?! LOL! Thanks for the shout-out and it is nice to know that @borjan and I were able to inspire you...not that you need it. Amazing collages AG! Hugs!

Thank you, my friend! Sorry about the spiders, but they were irresistible. Dramatic appearance, and they look so intelligent, with those large eyes. I really liked the caterpillar. Got his mouth and eyes to move. Wanted to do the feet, but the collage was taking so long already.
You and @borjan were in my mind when I designed that insect voyage...of course :))
I hope you are well.
Hugs from this end, always


Both designs look amazing, well combined and really interesting in idea:) Thank you so much for taking part at the contest:):)

Thank you! I am gratified. It's probably obvious that I spent many hours--days--on these. Worked on details no one will ever notice. But it had to be right :)) I hope next time I get the community thing right.

Thanks again for your flexibility, and for creating a collage community.

Great work. :) Or shall I say - double -work! I like the Mayan GIF and story very much, it has a lot of details and is funny to observe and find the slight changes in the image ... and then gets even better ... the space ark filled with small arthropods is the type of fantasy that I can easily embrace ... and for the end of this comment - another sentence with the overabundance of the great word : Great to see another great, creativity inducing, collage contest.

Thank you, thank you @borjan. Still learning, still growing, and being around creatives like you really, really inspires. I got confused and think I posted it in the wrong place. Still so much to learn.
Hope to see an entry from you :))

I'll see if will remain some time to spare when I finish a couple of regular posts I'm working on :) If not - the next time. Glad to know that this contest exists.


This post has been manually curated, resteemed
and gifted with some virtually delicious cake
from the @helpiecake curation team!

Much love to you from all of us at @helpie!
Keep up the great work!


Manually curated by @georgeboya.

@helpie is a Community Witness.

Thank you, @helpiecake! 'Sweet' of you to support my work :)

Nice post with views:)

Thank you very much!

Really interesting stuff, though it took me a few days to get through it. Loads of stuff I didn't know that took me off in all sorts of directions and then back to your post. I do love your collage x 2, though you'll likely tell me they're inferior to the competition:)

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I really love doing these. Steemit has opened a new world for me with these collages. Silly, isn't it? But there seems to be a new dimension to my understanding when I play around with ideas non-verbally.
I did so much research on each. Had to slap my hand to stop writing :)) I'm glad you were intrigued by these ideas also.

The two collages really reflect me, so they're not inferior. I'm just not an artist. But I do have fun.
Very happy you appreciate my excursion.
Thanks for stopping by :)

Another FANTASTIC post, A.G., with fascinating facts and fun imagery, and the tardigrade - omg - Tardigrades have actually been sent to space and have come back fine, especially if they were shielded from the radiation. I love your imagination and the science/history you feed it with. :)

Thank [email protected] The one thing that never fails me is my imagination. And you're right, information just gives it more material to work with :)
I appreciate your kind words and support.

Thank you! Danke für die beiden Collagen. Ich finde sie beide sehr künstlerisch, die Mayacollage wirkt tatsächlich wie ein einzige Bild und nicht wie eine zusammengesetzte Collage! That is art at it's best!

Danke liebe Kadna 😇
Kunst ist für mich eine neue Freiheit. Sehr wunderbar.

Wie schön für dich.

Jedes Kind ist ein Künstler. Das Problem ist nur, einer zu bleiben, wenn man erwachsen wird. (Picasso)

Maybe your artist of childhood is comming out now??? 🤔

Picasso hatte Recht: Jedes Kind ist ein Künstler. Ich glaube, ich habe die Enthusiasmus eines Kind :)

😊 Yessssss! Play sing dance paint life 😊

Very cool collage, best of luck in the contest, I have included this post in my weekly curation Ocean of Art!

You are so kind. I'm astonished. I'm learning to be free in visual art, and Steemit has been my school. Thank you very much!

Congratulations @agmoore2! You have completed the following achievement on the Steem blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You published more than 20 posts. Your next target is to reach 30 posts.

You can view your badges on your Steem Board and compare to others on the Steem Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

To support your work, I also upvoted your post!

Do not miss the last post from @steemitboard:

Use your witness votes and get the Community Badge
Vote for @Steemitboard as a witness to get one more award and increased upvotes!

Thank you for the good news :)

You're welcome @agmoore2
Support us back and vote for our witness.
You will get one more badge and more powerful upvotes from us on your posts with your next notifications.

This post was shared in the Curation Collective Discord community for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.
@c-squared runs a community witness. Please consider using one of your witness votes on us here

Thank you! Nice to wake up this morning and find your support here :)

Shared on Twitter

I'm late to appreciate these collages but are 10/10. I really enjoyed Insect Space Voyage.
The publication is magnificent for all the information you present on the idea of artistic work. A cordial greeting @agmoore2

Thank you, my friend. You could never be late with such a lovely comment. Aren't collages fun? They open up a new perspective on what we know. It doesn't matter if we are skilled or not: the act of creating these expands our experience.
Very nice to see you here.
Warm regards,

I love making collages. But I like different "readings" that can be obtained.