A Mayan royal sacrifices her own blood to the gods. She draws a thorn studded cord through a hole made in her lip. The outfit design is based on a carving of Lady Xoc from around 725 AD. You can see the image here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Xoc Lady Xoc was the royal consort of the Mayan ruler Shield Jaguar. She is one of the few women depicted in ancient Mayan carvings.The headdress is different than the one shown in the carving, but typical of wall paintings from the same era which involved lots of quetzel feathers. The colors are based on several different partial wall paintings from that period. The Mayans were flashy, flashy dressers!The glyphs on the paper on the altar are for Bird Jaguar (top) and Shield Jaguar underneath. (Bird Jaguar is Shield Jaguar's father. Shield Jaguar is much better known: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shield_Jaguar )
I like doing art dolls and sculptures that showcase historical periods or cultures people aren't all the familiar with. I have a degree in anthropology, so these are often FAR off the beaten path. Why animal people? I like to select an animal that has some sort of important significance to the culture depicted, or a specific meaning associated it. The Jaguar was especially important to Mayan culture, with many depictions of it on temples. Many rulers included Jaguar in their names to harness some of its power.
Shown below is another sculpture and a description of it.
In African folklore, hyenas are the the familiars of witches, much like the black cat is for European witches. They are supposedly marked with a magical brand by their witch and are sometimes called "night cattle" because of this marking. African witches may ride them through the night as a devil's stead, setting them upon their enemies. Here a witch has transformed herself into a deadly leopard-woman after dismounting her steed and uses an elephant tail switch to point our their next victim. She has a feather headdress, crocodile wristbands, and a belt studded with cowrie shells.