May 6th, 2013
The jade head was discovered at in the Belize District’s Mayan site of Altun Ha in 1968 by Dr. David Pendergast of the Royal Ontario Museum of Canada. The head, along with forty other objects, had been placed within a large tomb that was located below the stairblock on the Temple of the Masonry Altars. At the center of the tomb were the remains of an elderly adult male. This elite person was likely an important ruler of the site during his lifetime and may have commissioned an artist to produce the large carved object. We do not know the exact date that the head was carved, but analysis of cultural remains within the tomb suggests that the burial, and accompanying grave goods, were deposited in the structure sometime between 600 and 650 A.D.
Weighing 9.75 pounds and standing almost 6 inches high, the jade head remains the single largest carved jade object yet discovered in the Maya area. Its crossed eyes, fang-like elements on either side of the mouth, and the ahau glyph on the forehead all identify the head as a representation of the Maya sun god Kinich Ahau. Along with Chac (rain god) and Yum Kax (corn god), Kinich Ahau was among the most important deities in the Maya pantheon.
The Kinich Ahau head is truly a remarkable object and exquisite work of art. It is the only one of its kind in all of Mesoamerica. Because it was carved with nothing more than stone tools, we know that it may have taken many months, if not years, to produce. It was also carved from one large solid piece of jade that was imported from the Motagua River Valley region of Guatemala. Jade was also the most precious of stones to the Maya. Beside its exotic origins, its green colour reflected that of water and the corn plant, the two most precious, life sustaining substances to the ancient Maya of northern Belize.
As it undoubtedly was to the prehistoric inhabitants of Altun Ha, the jade head continues to be a most important icon to the people of Belize today. It is prominently displayed on all Belize currency and has become an important symbol of our nation.
February 23rd, 2013
THUPDI and Tsinghua University recently won the American Society of Landscape Architecture 2012 Honor Award for transforming an abandoned rock quarry in Shanghai into a garden oasis, complete with floating water walkway. After hearing the site had been closed to the public for over a decade, the team spent more than 6 years cleaning, planting, and restructuring the massive space. The final design is a unique multi-layered park that works closely with its quarry roots.
December 10th, 2012
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…Here’s a look at what we want to see under our tree this Christmas.
1. Artisan Leather iPad Cover with Bluetooth Keyboard Chestnut
2. Gramophone for iPhone and iPad
3. The Black Table Globe
4. Personalized Travels World Map Print
5. Really Good Reads
6. Stylish Christmas Sweater
7. Fashionable Overnight Bag
8. Fine Art Piece
9. Super Cool Tent
10. Handy Cook Books
October 29th, 2012
“Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.” — Joe Sparano
Designer Kitchen by Graft
October 20th, 2012
An important etho at Ka’ana is to be eco-conscious. This, of course, finds it’s way into our design aesthetic. Typically, we like to recycle objects in new ways and use the what we have on the grounds as much as possible (Have you seen our Organic Garden?) We are big on details; they make all the difference, right? See more below or read more about our Accommodations.
1. Fresh flowers in every room picked from the grounds.
2. Palmetto sticks are used throughout the resort, providing great texture and color.
3. Antique explorer objects: compasses, telescopes (Some found nearby!) and others from our owners’ collection to evoke a sense of adventures past.
4. Bamboo, cut and joined together, used for headboards and lamp fixtures.
5. Refurbished wood frames of villa door.
6. Antiqued custom-made metal doors for our Private Villas.
8. Antique Spanish books.
9. Ikat – Typical Central American patterned Fabrics.
10. Outdoor Showers!
September 6th, 2012
Meet Eileen Chiang, our photographer!
Name Eileen Chiang
Date of visit March 3, 2012
Homebase Brooklyn, NY
Eileen Chiang is a photographer and creative director whose penchant for documenting charming, offbeat experiences in faraway places often lands her right in front of the exotic glow of a computer screen. After spending nearly a decade branding and launching successful hospitality brands for a boutique hotel group based in Manhattan, Eileen now runs her own studio providing holistic branding to hotel clients in emerging markets. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her fly fishing obsessed husband and a pigish Boston Terrier. Her work can be seen on www.eileenchiang.com
What was your favorite thing about Ka’ana? I love the people. The owners and staff are simply some of the most kind and caring people I have met in this industry. From the moment you enter Ka’ana, you can tell the place is a labor of love accessorized with excellent food and thoughtful service. My favorite touch is the midnight snack. The staff leaves a treat in your fridge while you are out. It’s such a lovely surprise to find the delicious nibble after a long day exploring the Mayan landscape. Oh and the rooms aren’t too shabby either.
What was your most memorable experience? I think my most memorable experience was when we ran late covering Lamanai and we had to navigate a speedboat in croc infested water in total darkness. Our friend Max graciously volunteered to strap on a headlamp and lay on the bow of the boat to be our guiding light while we held down his legs during the speedy sharp turns so he won’t fly off and become a midnight snack to the crocs.
Also shooting out of a doorless helicopter while our 65 year old pilot was doing serious arial stunts so we can catch a good shot of the speeding airboat was pretty memorable too. Then there was that time we foolishly hiked the ATM caves without food or water and a ton of water sensitive camera equipment…
What do you love most about your job? As a photographer and designer working in the hospitality industry, I get to travel a lot and meet some truly great people. I love listening to their stories and see their hard work pay off in ways that benefits others around them. I also learned to become tougher and more open at the same time on these solo work trips. I find that if you are ready to listen, people will gladly share their stories and in turn teach you things that are priceless.
August 21st, 2012
We love eating great food, when we can’t- reading about it! New food publication, Gather Journal, is pure eye candy (is it lunch yet?)
August 20th, 2012
We love biking to explore a new city, so we are loving artist Zhao Huasen’s fun collection of images where bicyclists float along city streets on Invisible Bikes.
August 17th, 2012
Wan·der·lust: A strong desire to travel.