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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Archive : Olmecoid Stone Jaguar
Olmecoid Stone Jaguar - PF.4520
Origin: Mexico
Circa: 900 BC to 100 BC
Dimensions: 35" (88.9cm) high
Catalogue: V24
Collection: Precolumbian
Medium: Stone


Additional Information: SOLD

Location: United States
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Description
The jaguar was a central figure in art for centuries in mesoamerica. Not only is the animal itself greatly respected, the jaguar is intimately connected with shamans who are reputed to be able to turn themselves into a jaguar, and to communicate with them as spirit 'familiars'. As a symbol of rulership, the jaguar was frequently depicted in many forms, including full body sculptures such as this fantastic example. This beautiful animal is shown sitting on his haunches, with elbows resting on thighs and paws curled tightly against his cheeks. The detailed carving is somewhat abstract in style, representing the facial details as both realistic and imaginative. The fierce teeth are exposed, but not menacingly, with the tongue extended and flattened in a manner which nicely continues the lines of the nose. There are Olmec figures, human and animal, with a similar posture, perhaps related to the seated position of shamans during trance. Aesthetics and magic come together in union with the lovely stone to bring to life a jaguar who seems to dwell somewhere between jungle and the supernatural realm. - (PF.4520)

 

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