Chan Imix Kʼawiil

Chan Imix Kʼawiil was the twelfth ruler of the Maya city state Copán. His nickname was Smoke Jaguar.

Chan Imix Kʼawiil
Ruler of Copán
Reign628-695 AD
PredecessorKʼakʼ Chan Yopaat
SuccessorUaxaclajuun Ubʼaah Kʼawiil

Smoke Imix was crowned 16 days after the death of Kʼakʼ Chan Yopaat. He is thought to have been the longest reigning king of Copán, ruling from 628 to 695. He is believed to have been born in AD 612 to have become king at the age of 15. Archaeologists have recovered little evidence of activity for the first 26 years of his reign but in AD 652 there was a sudden explosion of monument production, with two stelae being erected in the Great Plaza and a further four in important locations across the Copán Valley. These monuments all celebrated a kʼatun-ending. He also erected a stela at the Santa Rita site 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) away and is mentioned on Altar L at Quiriguá in relation to the same event in 652. It is thought that he was trying to stamp his authority throughout the whole valley after the end of some earlier restriction to his freedom to rule as he wished.[1]

After this sudden spate of activity, Smoke Imix continued to rule until almost the end of the 7th century; he dedicated another 9 known monuments and made important changes to the architecture of Copán, including the construction of Structure 2 which closes the northern side of the Great Plaza and a new version of Temple 26, nicknamed Chorcha. Smoke Imix ruled Copán for 67 years and died on 15 June 695 at the age of 79, an age that was so distinguished that it is used to identify him in place of his name on Altar Q. His tomb had already been prepared in the Chorcha phase of Temple 26 and he was buried just 2 days after his death.[2]

Chan Imix is a playable leader (as "Smoke-Jaguar") of the Mayan state in the 2001 video game Civilization III.


  1. Martin & Grube 2000, p.201.
  2. Martin & Grube 2000, pp.202–203.


  • Martin, Simon; Nikolai Grube (2000). Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens: Deciphering the Dynasties of the Ancient Maya. London and New York: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05103-8. OCLC 47358325.

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