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Itzamnaaj B'alam

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Itzamnaaj B'alam
Nangklao portrait.jpg
Itzamnaaj B'alam as Regent
Regent of the Mutul
Reign1828 – 1846
Born(1788-07-07)7 July 1788
Died17 November 1863(1863-11-17) (aged 75)
Chak'ak Witz
Three Smilodons Mausoleum, K'umakaj
Lady Ik' Jol (m. 1814)
HouseAchipop Lineage
Ilok'tab Dynasty
FatherUk'u'x kaaj
MotherSak Yax T'e
ReligionWhite Path

Itzamnaaj B'alam (born in 1788, died in 1863) was a Mutulese noble of Achi origin from the prestigious Achipop lineage. He married Lady Ik' Jol in 1814, becoming King Consort after the death of Ik' Jol littler brother Wahlam B'alam VI. He fled the K'alak Muul with his son, B'alijaj Chan K'awiil II, in 1828 following the murder of his wife. He found refuge in K'umakaj where he crowned his son K'uhul Ajaw and became his Regent before leading the war against the Noble Republic of Northern Oxidentale during what is known as the Sajal War. After the civil war, he remained his son regent and became the head of government of the Mutul, leading a series of administrative and constitutional changes known as the Itzamnaaj Reforms. The Yax Tz’ibich Chaakal Chakun, published in 1844, remain to this day the de-facto constitution of the Divine Kingdom. At the height of his power, Itzamnaaj B'alam cumulated the positions of Regent, First K'awiil (Prime Minister), and of Commander-in-Chief of the Mutulese Army.

When his regency ended, he stepped down from all his political positions and spent the rest of his life in his residence of Chak'ak Witz. He would become the Aj k'in of the small town and continued to preside over certain religious rituals, regularly coming back to K'alak Muul to perform the Cult of the Ancestor with his son in the Royal Necropolis. Beyond his religious role, he also wrote a collection of poems and remained an avid patron of the arts. He died in 1863 and was buried in the Three Smilodons Mausoleums, in K'umakaj, the Mausoleum his son had built for his parents and where he would himself be buried 39 years later.