Plate

Plate

c. 800

Earthenware with colored slips

Overall: 6.5 x 41.5 cm (2 9/16 x 16 5/16 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James C. Gruener 1990.182

Fun Fact

Maya shamans transformed into jaguars, or at least channeled their spirit, through dance-induced trances.

Description

Its pose and jewelry suggest this flamboyantly painted figure may represent a human clad in the skin of a jaguar. Because the jaguar is the largest, most powerful predator in Mesoamerica, it was a natural metaphor for earthly and supernatural power alike.

See also

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